December 6, 2023

Healey-Driscoll Administration Announces $1.82 Million to Support Life Science Workforce Training Partnerships

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s Pathmaker program, an initiative under MassTalent, provides funding to build and scale career pathways that effectively prepare Massachusetts residents for high-demand career opportunities in the life sciences

QUINCY—Today the Healey-Driscoll Administration announced $1.82 million to support life science workforce training partnerships across Massachusetts. The funding is made possible through the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s (MLSC) Pathmaker program, launched as a key component of the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s MassTalent initiative, to support organizations that can build and scale career pathways that effectively prepare Massachusetts residents for high-demand career opportunities in the life sciences. In total, 170 training opportunities will be created through four training partnerships receiving Pathmaker funds.

“The Healey-Driscoll Administration’s focus remains on lengthening Massachusetts’ leadership as the best place in the world to grow a business,” said Secretary of Economic Development Yvonne Hao, who serves as the co-chair of the MLSC Board of Directors. “We will continue to be the epicenter of R&D and innovation, but the next chapter of the life sciences in Massachusetts must also be about ensuring a quantity and quality of talent for companies to launch, scale, and become world leaders.”

“Massachusetts has all the essential pieces to have a robust workforce pipeline to support companies and create opportunities for residents across the Commonwealth,” said Administration & Finance Secretary Matthew Gorzkowicz, who serves as co-chair of the MLSC Board of Directors. “The Healey-Driscoll Administration is committed to the making the strategic investments that will position Massachusetts to meet the workforce needs of key industries such as the life sciences.”

The announcement of the inaugural Pathmaker awards was made during a celebration at Quincy College. The college is receiving a $750,000 award to support an eight-week training program to benefit 75 trainees in biomanufacturing and medtech/advanced manufacturing. Pathmaker awards for JVS Boston ($680,000), MassBioEd ($240,000), and MassMEP ($150,000), were also announced at today’s event.

“Bolstering workforce development has long been a priority of the House, particularly in critical industries of the future like the life sciences. That’s why I’m incredibly proud to see the state funding that was appropriated for this initiative being put to work, especially in my home city of Quincy,” said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy). “I want to thank my colleagues in the House and our partners in the Senate for working to provide funding to support the Pathmaker program, as well as the Healey-Driscoll Administration and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center for implementing this vital program.”

“We should not settle for just creating jobs, but should ensure the jobs we create are sustainable for workers. By bringing together government, education, and private industry, we are doing exactly that, said Senator John F. Keenan (D-Quincy). “Thank you to everyone involved in creating these exciting opportunities for the students of Quincy College, which does so much to train the educated workforce Massachusetts needs to continue to thrive.”

“I’m delighted that Quincy College will be the recipient of Mass Life Sciences Center’s Pathmaker award and will receive money to implement a training program to prepare students for careers in the life sciences,” said Representative Tackey Chan (D-Quincy). “This program will provide a direct pipeline into well-paying jobs at Takeda and Sanofi, setting Quincy students up for successful futures here in Massachusetts.”

The MLSC has previously deployed more than $5.6 million to Quincy College, MassBioEd, and JVS Boston to support their working training efforts. This includes more than $2.6 million to Quincy College to support its Biotechnology and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) program. In collaboration with industry partners, the program is designed to provide hands-on laboratory training students. According to the college, the graduation rate for both associate and certificate programs has been 97 percent with a job placement rate of 99 percent for the last five consecutive years.

“For nearly a decade, our Biotechnology and Good Manufacturing program has created a pathway to life sciences employment for hundreds of students and earned us industry accolades as well,” said Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, President of Quincy College. “We share MSLC’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and are privileged to accept this generous Pathmaker award which will enable us to create educational opportunity for even more students seeking rewarding careers in the life sciences workforce.”

“Takeda is proud to partner with the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MSLC) in supporting the Pathmaker program,” said Emerson Foster, Head of Human Resources, U.S. Business Unit & People Advisory Group at Takeda.  “We recognize the importance of investing in workforce training partnerships to prepare Massachusetts residents for high-demand career opportunities in the life sciences industry. With our long-standing partnership with Quincy College, we’re pleased to see the continued growth of their program through this grant that is creating employment opportunities for hundreds of students from diverse backgrounds. We look forward to continuing to work with our community partners to support the success of the life sciences industry in Massachusetts.”

Pathmaker was announced in June 2023 at the BIO International Convention as part of the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s launch of a new strategy for connecting employers to skilled, diverse workers in Massachusetts called MassTalent. The program was launched with the central goals of condensing training programs to get Massachusetts residents into jobs/career tracks faster, harmonize core competencies creating alignment between industry and training providers, brand training programs sending signal to both workers and companies these programs are producing “career-ready” individuals for entry-level roles, and increase marketing of training/career opportunities with specific DE&I focus targeting underrepresented populations.

“We know that other states and regions have looked to the Massachusetts success story and are trying to emulate our success,” said MLSC Vice President of Economic Development and Partnerships Jeanne LeClair. “In order to retain and extend our global leadership, the Center is committed to launching new partnerships and leveraging existing and previous funding to expand training capacity and access. We’re grateful for the continued focus and engagement of the Healey-Driscoll Administration toward supporting companies to launch, locate, and expand here.”

Pathmaker has grown out of an existing group of successful partnerships between life science companies and training providers, that leverage the excellent workforce development resources we have in the Commonwealth and the previous investments the Center and others have made in the ecosystem. The 2023 MassBioEd Life Science Workforce Analysis Report indicates that more than 72 percent of all life sciences jobs in 2022 are located in biopharmaceuticals and medical labs. Moreover, the Massachusetts economy is projected to grow its employment base by adding more than 40,000 net new jobs in the life sciences by 2032. Projections indicate 6,617 average annual job openings in key life sciences occupations over the next decade.