BOSTON, MA (January 4, 2024) – Bioversity, a MassBio initiative, today celebrated the grand opening of its first workforce training center at Southline Boston in Dorchester with life sciences industry and community leaders, policymakers, and students from its first cohort. The ceremony marks the completion of construction on the dedicated, state-of-the-art lab and classroom space at the site of the old Boston Globe building that will welcome Bioversity’s first group of 20 students on January 8.
Bioversity plans to graduate 100 people from the program in 2024 into entry-level scientific operations jobs, with local life sciences companies providing a gateway to lifelong careers and economic opportunity, with the first cohort graduating at the end of February. Rooted in diversifying workforce development and providing equitable economic opportunities to underrepresented communities, Bioversity seeks to open pathways for residents from all backgrounds with the only qualification being completion of a high school degree or equivalent.
Of the 20 students that make up Bioversity’s initial cohort, 16 are Boston residents. The average age is 31 (ranging from 18 to 48) and 58% are female. 100% of students identify as either Black/African American or Hispanic and 94% hold only a high school degree or some college experience. 26% are currently unemployed and 52% are employed part-time.
“As we unveil our first workforce training center, I am profoundly grateful for the collective effort that has brought us to the opening of Bioversity,” said Bioversity Executive Director Zach Stanley. “The dedication of our partners, supporters, and team members has been instrumental in creating a hub of opportunity and empowerment for those interested in the life sciences. We couldn’t be more excited about the transformative impact this center will have on the students and partners involved.”
The organization is also forming a community of neighbors, families, instructors, and employers who are all united behind the same goal of deepening and diversifying the life sciences talent pipeline, ultimately creating entry-level talent built for continued success and ready to lead the life sciences industry into the future.
The grand opening was emceed by Stanley and included remarks from Massachusetts Executive Office of Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao, Executive Office of Workforce Development Secretary Lauren Jones, Beacon Life Science President Steve Purpura and Bioversity student Clarissa Ramirez.
The eight-week program at Bioversity offers learning at no cost for students, who also receive a stipend to offset the lost work hours throughout the week and help pay for expenses that may otherwise prevent them from attending class each day. The program offers graduates career placement resources to help get them into entry-level scientific operations roles at local life sciences employers. As the nonprofit expands in Dorchester and across the state, Bioversity will look to develop additional certificate training programs such as those that can provide mid-level talent development and roles in other parts of the sector.
“As we inaugurate Bioversity, we embark on a journey to reshape the future of life sciences in the Commonwealth, starting in Dorchester,” said MassBio CEO and President Kendalle Burlin O’Connell. “This center stands as a testament to our commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion, and by investing in the untapped potential of diverse talent we will strengthen the amazing work we do across Massachusetts. With our partners, we’ll build a bridge to a more inclusive tomorrow, where opportunities are within reach for everyone.”
Bioversity is a Massachusetts incorporated non-profit with pending 501c3 status launched by MassBio. It was formed to implement industry-aligned, expanded workforce training initiatives. Bioversity blazes training pathways and creates employer connections for underrepresented populations and individuals traditionally left out of the life sciences to quickly propel them into well-paying jobs and lifelong careers. We aspire to an equitable life sciences industry that reflects the patient communities it serves and delivers career opportunities to all who want them. Learn more at https://bioversityma.org/about-bioversity/.
MassBio’s mission is to advance Massachusetts’ leadership in the life sciences to grow the industry, add value to the healthcare system, and improve patient lives. MassBio represents the premier global life sciences and healthcare hub, with 1,600+ members dedicated to preventing, treating, and curing diseases through transformative science and technology that brings value and hope to patients. Founded in 1985, MassBio works to advance policy and promote education, while providing member programs, events, industry information, and services for the #1 life sciences cluster in the world.