The following are excerpts from a Boston Globe story that ran in the October 3, 2023 print edition of the newspaper:
The biotech jobs engine is coming to Boston’s neighborhoods.
Bioversity, a new training center under construction in Dorchester, last week hosted residents and job seekers at its future site, seven stops down the MBTA’s Red Line — and seemingly a world away — from the bustling industry hub in Cambridge’s Kendall Square.
“Is anyone here from Roxbury? Dorchester?” asked Ross Marshall, the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council’s head of community engagement, as hands shot up at an informational meeting.
An overflow crowd of more than 60 residents of all ages crammed into a conference room at Southline Boston, the renovated building that was long home to The Boston Globe and now houses a warren of offices, retail space, and biotech labs. MassBIO, the trade group launching the nonprofit Bioversity, had invited them to learn about the program, which will open its 4,000-square-foot training center early next year.
As the life sciences industry expands in the state and broadens its scope beyond drug discovery into biomanufacturing, employers are clamoring for more workers — including those without four-year-college degrees — to assist in the laboratory research and industrial processes that create life-extending therapies.
“We can use employees without science backgrounds as long as they’re willing to learn and want to help people,” said Krisha Panchalingam, director of lab and scientific operations for Portal Innovations, which provides contract lab space for biotechs in the Southline building.
Some who came to the informational meeting had only a vague idea of what goes on in the gleaming temples of drug development that have sprouted from Cambridge to Boston’s Seaport and Fenway districts. But they said they were intrigued by the promise of biotech — and starting pay of $18 to $25 an hour, more than they could earn in service jobs.
Rudell Moses, 23, of Mattapan, who now works temporary jobs in Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium, said his mother encouraged him to check out the Bioversity program because of his interest in science.
“I’ve always had an obsession with biochemistry,” he said.
His sister, 19-year-old Makayla Moses, said she’s majoring in nursing at Roxbury Community College but is open to the idea of shifting her sights to biotechnology for the right opportunity. “I want to work in health care, helping people,” she said. “It sounds really interesting.”