OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the creation of the Life Science and Global Health Workforce Panel to strengthen and expand the sector in Washington. The panel will conduct a full labor market analysis of Washington’s life sciences and global health efforts and identify gaps in labor and skills.
“The innovation and creativity of the life sciences and global health work in Washington are leading the way worldwide,” Inslee said. “Not only does this work affect and save lives around the globe, it also is a tremendous benefit to our state’s economy.”
The life science and global health sectors are responsible for $12.5 billion of Washington’s gross domestic product. Employment in this sector tops 36,300 direct jobs and another 61,800 indirect jobs.
The panel will explore what employers and stakeholders need in life sciences and global health, determine where gaps exist and map education and training programs for workers. It will develop a list of recommendations for action and present them to the governor.
Funded with a $150,000 grant through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the panel will be overseen by the Department of Commerce.
“The growth of a healthy life science sector in Washington state is determined by multiple factors, including having a robust pipeline of highly qualified, talented people,” says John Wecker, interim CEO and chairman of Life Science Washington. “Life Science Washington looks forward to working with the governor and the state to increase our local talent pool.”
Washington’s life sciences and global health sector includes 240 bio-pharma companies, 416 medical device companies, 126 digital health/health IT companies and 106 academic, nonprofit research and support organizations. More than 92 Washington cities host life science companies, research institutions or related nonprofit organizations.