Dorchester Reporter: Work has begun on biotech training center on site of former Globe HQ

Jul 26, 2023

By Cassidy McNeeley, Special to the Reporter

The following excerpts are from a front page story in the Dorchester Reporter published in print on July 27, 2023.

Officials from MassBIO, a trade organization focused on the state’s life sciences sector, swapped ground-breaking shovels for sledgehammers on Tuesday as they heralded a new workforce training center planned for the site of the former Boston Globe headquarters on Morrissey Boulevard.

The event, which drew Gov. Maura Healey’s labor chief Lauren Jones, Dorchester Councillor Frank Baker and Councillor At-Large Michael Flaherty, marks the construction start of the lab and classroom space, a state-of-the-art facility that aims to bring underrepresented individuals into well-paying jobs and lifelong careers in the life sciences industry, one of the pillars of the Bay State economy.

Bioversity, a nonprofit launched by MassBIO, will oversee the effort.

The facility will be on the first floor, in back of the building, directly behind a ground-level water tank and I-93. Tuesday’s kickoff to construction means “we will be able to open our first training cohort in January of 2024,” said Zach Stanley, Bioversity’s executive director.

Stanley and his team hope Bioversity will allow Dorchester residents to work at financially sustainable jobs. They especially hope that Dorchester residents who join the cohorts can eventually work at Southline Boston, as the developer of the former Boston Globe headquarters has renamed the site, and keep companies local.

There are eight companies that now call Southline Boston home. Four of them are under the banner of Flagship Pioneering, the venture capital firm behind vaccine maker Moderna. Portal, a biotech venture capital firm based in Chicago, also has space, and has signed a lease for a company under its banner. The fitness apparel company Nobull is another tenant.

“The way we envision this is that people with just a high school degree can get a job, a foot in the door in this industry, and put it on their resume. But more importantly, they can have the experience necessary to be promoted and advance across the industry,” said Stanley. “It also may open their eyes to further educational opportunities that hopefully we can facilitate.”

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