Bioscience Partnership Launches Workforce Initiative

The New Haven Regional Bioscience Collaborative has launched an internship program aimed at attracting and training talent to meet the sector's growing workforce needs.

The SPRINT initiative—Student Program to Ready Interns for Next-Generation Talent—aims to generate over 100 life sciences jobs by summer 2022.

The program is aimed at students attending colleges and universities in Connecticut, as well as students with ties to the state.

John Houston, CEO of New Haven-based Arvinas, said the program will help provide real-world job experience.

"With more biotech companies making New Haven their home, demand and opportunities for talent will only increase," said Arvinas president and CEO John Houston.

"We hope the SPRINT internship program will enable students to build important skillets so that they're in a prime position to fill future biotech job openings."

Collaboration
Both emerging and established life sciences companies—including Arvinas, Alexion Astrazeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cybrexa Therapeutics, and Isoplexisare—are participating in the internship program.

Interested students can obtain internships for various roles, from scientific to finance to administrative positions.

The SPRINT program "will not only provide more students the opportunity to follow their passion and gain valuable real-world job experience," said Alexion vice president Sharon Barr, "but also help encourage and build a more diverse community of talented young scientists to support the life-science industry."

The program "will help build the talent pool in Connecticut to support our growing industry," Houston added.

Growth Obstacle
CBIA's 2021 Survey of Connecticut Businesses found 80% of employers have difficulty finding and retaining workers, and over one-third (35%) cite a lack of skilled job applicants as the main factor hampering their growth.

In addition, survey respondents want lawmakers to focus on investing in education and trade schools (22%) and funding for training programs (21%).

Eight in 10 Connecticut employers cited the labor shortage as the main obstacle to growth in a recent survey.

The internship program coincides with the Life-Science Sprints in Connecticut campaign, designed to increase visibility and boost the growth of the state's bioscience industry.

The New Haven Regional Bioscience Collaborative was formed this past May as part of the Governor's Workforce Council, with industry leadership and support provided by the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to building a talent pipeline, the collaborative is working to grow awareness and expand space and infrastructure to support industry growth.

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