News Feed Item

Tech Collective Releases Rhode Island Bioscience Workforce Skills Gap Study

Tech Collective, Rhode Island’s Bioscience and Information Technology industry association, today released its Rhode Island Bioscience Skills Gap Study. The report can be downloaded at www.tech-collective.org; copies will be distributed at the Bioscience Industry Skills Gap Forum on Wednesday, March 26th from 8:30-10:30am at Save the Bay in Providence. Panelists from Alexion Pharmaceuticals, EpiVax, Inc., Tedor Pharma, and Amgen will discuss the report and bioscience workforce challenges and approaches (see below for panelists and more information).

The bioscience skills gap report profiles the burgeoning bioscience industry in Rhode Island and comprehensively focuses on its workforce needs. Career and professional development opportunities are explored along with K-12 education pathways. Concluding the report are recommendations to foster workforce and industry growth.

Included in the report is a timeline identifying bioscience industry development, workforce training, and K-16 education achievements over the past decade. In looking at the bioscience industry as a young innovation ecosystem, the report also cites the need for industry, academic, and government support. Other competitive factors influencing the industry are noted, including access to capital, infrastructure, and research facilities.

The report follows Tech Collective’s 2009 At the Heart of Bioscience: Rhode Island Skills Gap Report. The updated bioscience industry study was researched and compiled using local and national industry data and garnering Rhode Island employer insights via focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and an employer survey. Findings of the report aim to raise awareness of and guide investments in Rhode Island’s bioscience workforce. The Rhode Island Bioscience Skills Gap Study was funded by an Industry Partnership grant through the Governor’s Workforce Board Rhode Island (GWBRI).

“Rhode Island’s bioscience industry is one of high-potential – both to impact the Rhode Island economy and workforce, as well as to improve our global well-being,” said Kathie Shields, executive director of Tech Collective. “The purpose of the bioscience skills gap report is to foster that potential through identifying the workforce needs of this industry and offering recommendations to meet those needs. Tech Collective looks forward to working with the industry and academic and government stakeholders to support and strengthen Rhode Island’s bioscience industry.”

Industry Overview

Rhode Island employs 4,602 bioscience professionals across the industry and has a total employment impact of an additional 11,847 workers. The bioscience industry participates on national and global levels and is comprised of five sectors: drugs and pharmaceuticals; medical devices and equipment; research, testing, and medical laboratories; agricultural feedstock and biofuels; and bioscience-related distribution. Rhode Island’s greatest strengths lie in drugs and pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and research and development.

Report Findings

Bioscience leaders we spoke with expressed optimism and growth, with 90 percent of respondents anticipating their company will expand in the next 3-5 years. Still, employers indicated their biggest workforce challenge is a lack of skilled workers to hire.

In a highly specialized industry, workers proficient in both technical and professional skill sets are valued by employers. Technical skills gaps included: technical writing/documentation, regulatory compliance, quality assurance, research, and Good Clinical/Laboratory/Manufacturing Practice (GCP, GLP, and GMP, respectively). Professional skills gaps included: critical thinking, communications, teamwork, leadership, cultural awareness, project management, and the ability to work independently. Employers also look to retain workers with interdisciplinary knowledge in business operations, manufacturing, and other areas related to the biosciences.

Looking at bioscience education and career pathways, the report identifies entry-level requirements, professional development training methods and priorities, and K-12 and higher education programs. Experiential learning was identified as one of the most important ways to bridge bioscience studies with industry experience. Especially Rhode Island’s smaller bioscience companies are receptive to internships, work experience, and mentoring the incoming workforce.


Recommendations following the report aim to inspire and engage youth in the STEM fields through the state’s Bioscience Academies, integration into K-12 curriculum, and integrated or after school STEM programs; support for and increased participation in higher education and experiential learning opportunities; expanded workforce training and professional development funding; and increased industry awareness and advocacy, including support of the Economic Intersections of Rhode Island action agenda led by Commerce RI and the Rhode Island Foundation.

Skills Gap Forum: Bioscience Industry

Kicking off the bioscience focus of Tech Collective’s Skills Gap Series, the Bioscience Industry panel discussion will be held on Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 from 8:30-10:30am at Save the Bay in Providence. Industry panelists will discuss the findings of the report as well as current and future initiatives the state can undertake to grow and innovate in the industry. Panelists:

  • Karen DaSilva, Associate Director, Human Resources, Alexion Pharmaceuticals
  • Cliff Grimm, Managing Director, EpiVax, Inc.
  • Matthew Iorio, Executive Vice President, Tedor Pharma
  • Katherine Chaloupka, Senior Scientist, Process Development, Amgen

The Skills Gap Series forums are open to the public. Industry, academic, and state leaders and stakeholders are encouraged to attend. For more information or attend, visit www.tech-collective.org.

About Tech Collective: Tech Collective is Rhode Island’s Information Technology and Bioscience Industry Association. Uniting industry, government and academic stakeholders, our mission is to inspire, engage, educate and employ a high-skill, high-wage Knowledge Economy in Rhode Island. Since its transition from the Rhode Island Technology Council (RITEC) in 2004, Tech Collective has received more than $8M in federal, state and private grant funding to foster industry collaboration, awareness and development through events and initiatives including: the Tech10 awards, the Rhode Island Bioscience Awards, GRRL Tech, Women in Technology, Bio-Ed, and STEM-based education and training programs for K-16 students as well as incumbent and transitioning workers. Get connected to Tech Collective at www.tech-collective.org, on Facebook (TechCollectiveRI), and on Twitter (@Tech_Collective).

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Join Impiger for their featured webinar: ‘Cloud Computing: A Roadmap to Modern Software Delivery’ on November 10, 2016, at 12:00 pm CST. Very few companies have not experienced some impact to their IT delivery due to the evolution of cloud computing. This webinar is not about deciding whether you should entertain moving some or all of your IT to the cloud, but rather, a detailed look under the hood to help IT professionals understand how cloud adoption has evolved and what trends will impact th...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, will discuss how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team a...
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Governments around the world are adopting Safe Harbor privacy provisions to protect customer data from leaving sovereign territories. Increasingly, global companies are required to create new instances of their server clusters in multiple countries to keep abreast of these new Safe Harbor laws. Is it worth it? In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Adam Rogers, Managing Director of Anexia, Inc., will discuss how to keep your data legal and still stay in business.
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
Successful transition from traditional IT to cloud computing requires three key ingredients: an IT architecture that allows companies to extend their internal best practices to the cloud, a cost point that allows economies of scale, and automated processes that manage risk exposure and maintain regulatory compliance with industry regulations (FFIEC, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, FISMA). The unique combination of VMware, the IBM Cloud, and Cloud Raxak, a 2016 Gartner Cool Vendor in IT Automation, provides a co...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing ...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...