Program Overview

The MLSC launched Pathmaker to further the development and expansion of life science career training programs. Pathmaker will award up to $750,000 per project in direct funding to support organizations that can build and scale career pathways that effectively prepare students for high-demand career opportunities in the life sciences. Through this program, the MLSC is particularly seeking to seed, enhance and/or expand training programs that address critical skills and talent supply gaps facing the state’s life science industry. Such programs include those focused on biomanufacturing, medtech manufacturing, and other key careers in the life sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts. Applicants must have at least one industry partnership that ensures that the program is responding to a direct hiring need. Furthermore, the MLSC is committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the life sciences workforce and will prioritize investment in programs that serve underrepresented populations. 

The MLSC anticipates awarding four (4) to twelve (12) Pathmaker grants between $100,000 and $750,000 for one (1) year of work. Pathmaker is a key component of the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s MassTalent initiative, a new strategy for connecting employers to skilled, diverse workers in Massachusetts.

Alternatively, training providers can seek the Pathmaker validation without applying for funding, provided that their existing program(s) meet the minimum Core Competency Checklist. Please see full details for Pathmaker validation process here.

The program is accepting applications and will be reviewed, evaluated, and approved on a rolling basis.

Eligibility and Evaluation

Applicants must use funds to implement workforce development programs that lead to careers in the life sciences industry. Funding must be requested to support training that prepares students with skills needed for life sciences careers. Programs must have a focus on skills training for high-demand occupations within the life sciences manufacturing sector (biomanufacturing and medtech / advanced manufacturing). If there are other skills related to careers in regulatory affairs, data science, clinical research support, lab support, facilities management, quality control and quality assurance, they will be reviewed and evaluated on an individual basis. 

The “life sciences” are defined in the MLSC’s enabling legislation as “advanced and applied sciences that expand the understanding of human physiology and have the potential to lead to medical advances or therapeutic applications.”

Applicants must be a Massachusetts legally organized:

  • Life Science company (“Company”) located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and registered to do business in Massachusetts. A Certificate of Good Standing from the Massachusetts Secretary of State and Certificate of Good Standing from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue are required for the submission
  • Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), including CBOs relying on a fiscal agent
  • Community Colleges, Colleges, and Universities
  • Comprehensive and Vocational High Schools, including Vocational Schools offering an after-hours or Career Technical Initiative evening training program
  • For-Profit Entities
  • Non-Profit Entities
  • Municipalities
  • Workforce Development Organizations
  • MassHire Workforce Investment Boards and Career Centers

Please view the full list of eligibility requirements and evaluation process.


Applicants are required to create an account prior to accessing the application. If you already have an account, please log in to begin the application.

Register for an in-person info session:

Post-award Deliverables, Confidentiality, and General Conditions

Letter of Support Example

Sample Application for Funding

Request Form for Pathmaker Validation Without Funding

Core Competency Guidance and Checklist

MassBioEd Report

Map and Guide to Training Partners


Impact on the Ecosystem

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. 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. MassTalent will serve as a one-stop front door for companies to access multiple talent pipelines in high-growth industries like the life sciences, clean energy and advanced manufacturing.

The 2023 MassBioEd Life Science Workforce Analysis Report indicates that

  • Over 72% of all life sciences jobs in 2022 are located in biopharmaceuticals and medical labs.
  • MA 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.

The additional funding available through this program aims to amplify and scale these successful models to address the most pressing workforce needs in the industry and create a sustainable structure that can adapt to the future needs as the spirit of innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship continue to make Massachusetts the best place in the world for the life sciences.

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If you have any questions regarding the application process, e-mail