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The Biotechnology and Life Sciences Industry in the Southeast Florida Region: Meeting the Workforce Challenges

With the decision to locate Scripps Florida in Palm Beach County, the biotechnology and life sciences industry in Southern Florida is positioned to take a large leap forward. That also brings new demands for biotechnology-skilled workers - and thus for biotechnology-focused education and training resources. The Workforce Alliance of Palm Beach County asked the team of Regional Technology Strategies (RTS) and Economic Development Research Group (EDR Group) to analyze needs for education and training resources to support growth of this cluster and prepare workers for jobs in this industry.

The project team analyzed the industry composition and occupational structure of the biotech and life sciences cluster in the region and compared the area's industrial and occupational structures to elsewhere in Southern Florida and the nation. The team also investigated the economic strength, growth potential, skills and occupational requirements of this emerging biotechnology cluster, developed scenarios for future growth of biotechnology in the region and identified needs for improving workforce education.

The report identifies strategies focused on plans to:

  • Further engage biotechnology companies.
  • Support and expand biotechnology educational programs at the technician level and develop short courses for incumbent workers.
  • Create biotechnology modules or elective courses for non-biotech education programs.
  • Develop a Biotechnology Certificate for educational training courses.
  • Develop career pathways and oordinate biotech-related education and training resources across South Florida.

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