Neighboring States are Competing to Attract Maryland’s Workforce Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania are growing their life sciences ecosystems at faster rates than Maryland.

  • Virginia announced an unprecedented $66 million in life sciences grants last year in what state leaders describe as “a strategic target for growth.”
  • North Carolina directed $75 million to life sciences to launch the North Carolina Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center.
  • Pennsylvania invested $9 million to launch the Thomas Jefferson University’s Institute for Bioprocessing to train local residents for high-paying biotech careers. Growing Maryland’s life sciences ecosystem requires purposeful investments in the technical workforce training needed to build a strong talent pipeline.

The Problem

  • The life sciences sector in Maryland is challenged by a scarcity of skilled talent, which is limiting the growth potential of this key sector for the regional economy. Maryland falls into the most severe category with a worker shortage index of 0.33, meaning that there are 33 available workers for every 100 open positions.

  • Maryland’s life sciences employment grew significantly slower than projections based on peer growth rates and historical growth rates. For the five-year period of 2018-2022 this was $500 million, having an annual negative impact on MD GDP of $1.3 billion.

  • Life sciences jobs in Maryland pay an average of $129,900 per year, 80% more than the State’s average annual salary of $69,000.

  • Maryland is currently surrounded by states with a higher labor force participation rate. Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey each have participation rates above 62.8 percent. Maryland’s sub- 62.8 percent performance is not conducive to longstanding economic growth.

  • High School graduates, disadvantaged populations, and Veterans are often not aware of and/or do not have access to training that opens doors to life changing careers.

  • There is an opportunity to further increase the diversity in the life sciences workforce.

The Solution

  • The Maryland Tech Council (MTC) and its life sciences industry led coalition, developed a strategic plan to create a biopharmaceutical manufacturing skills and training model for Maryland to be the benchmark for life sciences workforce preparation globally.

  • BioHub Training & Education Center will train students at a state-of-the-art and multifunctional facility equipped with cutting-edge industrial bioprocessing equipment.

  • Rapidly deliver world-class industry-certified training curriculum that maximizes the number of workers capable of meeting existing industry needs and that prepares prospective employees for occupations with future growth potential.

  • Provide hands-on competency-based training focused on core biopharma manufacturing operations. (Competency-based hands-on training is regarded as being the most impactful and beneficial type of training for the biopharma industry (“learn by doing”)).

  • Promote training and career opportunities to veterans, high school students, and underserved and distressed communities.

  • Take the lead to coordinate and align the various training and education initiatives in the state by bringing together university, academia, workforce development, industry, and government agencies, creating alignment amongst stakeholders.

The Benefits

  • Maryland’s economy will expand by providing a talent pool which ensures that current and future employers have access to top talent adding thousands of high-paying jobs.

  • Providing training opportunities to allow for those unemployed to re-enter into the workforce to develop new skills and/or reskills, build confidence, access high paying jobs, good benefits, and economic transformation.

  • In a rapidly changing economic landscape, the development of new skills by workers is a constant requirement, and the absence or loss of skills can be a barrier to further development. The upskilling of an employee throughout their working career can lead to increased job security, earnings, and autonomy at work.

  • Saving Maryland industry companies time and money by offering impactful training solutions that replicate industry best practice in terms of appropriate skills, behaviors, and attitudes.

  • Customizing training programs focused on Industry’s requirements.

  • Employers will have access to a pool of work-ready candidates with skills that match to their needs.