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Rapidly Expanding Ohio Bioscience Industry Drives New Workforce Training Program
Date:10/30/2008

Bioscience Workforce Training Center trains first students for work in

medical manufacturing

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Skilled Northeast Ohio workers who once made cars and other consumer products are being leveraged by Ohio's growing bioscience industry to make pills, drugs packaging and medical devices. To ensure a strong pipeline of skilled labor to sustain the unprecedented growth of the bioscience industry, the Cleveland Plus region now hosts a brand-new workforce training center to prepare even more Ohio workers for careers in the bioscience industry.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070814/CLTU009LOGO )

According to the Ohio Business Development Coalition, the nonprofit organization that markets the state for capital investment, the launch of the Bioscience Workforce Training Center at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) demonstrates public-private partnership in action to support and build the future Ohio economy.

"There are at least 1,500 jobs available for Ohioans to fill in the Cleveland bioscience sector," said John Gajewski, executive director in the Workforce and Economic Development Division at Tri-C's Corporate College. "At Tri-C, we saw the opportunity to partner with pharmaceutical drug and medical device manufacturers to help Ohio workers become a part of this growing industry."

Opened Sept. 29, Tri-C's Bioscience Workforce Training Center is the first of its kind in the nation. The program partners with local Northeastern Ohio companies such as Ben Venue Laboratories in Bedford, that needs new workers to manufacture the sterile drugs it makes for the medical industry.

"At Ben Venue, we have invested more than $375 million on structures and improvements to our pharmaceutical manufacturing facility since 1997," said President and COO Thomas Murphy. The investment Ben Venue has made in Bedford has allowed the facility to:

-- Expand from 220,000 square feet to 920,000 square feet.

-- Increase total employees from 450 to nearly 1,200.

-- Grow the site from 13 acres to 33 acres.

"In order to ensure that we are able to continue to grow and meet the needs of our customers, we will need to continue to attract top talent to Northeast Ohio," Murphy said. "Human capital will play the biggest role in our success in the future."

Ohio ranks best in the Midwest and 4th in the nation for its strengths in the bioscience industry according to Business Facilities Magazine. Cleveland is the hub of Ohio's job growth in bioscience, representing about 20,000 jobs with an average salary of $48,000 a year. Nearly half a million dollars in state funds are paying for the bioscience training program.

"Major bioscience industry employers find Ohio a great fit because of the availability of capital investment, including 58 health care venture funds and investments of over $326 million over the last five years from the Ohio Third Frontier program. That, coupled with both close market access and ease of exporting internationally, as well as sweeping tax reform recently enacted in Ohio, is driving new business opportunities throughout the state," said Ed Burghard, executive director of the Ohio Business Development Coalition.

"Business leaders are realizing how, in Ohio, they're able to find a perfect balance between successfully growing a business and pursuing their personal dreams," said Burghard, "Business owners profit from the bottom-line benefits of better work-life balance for their employees. Ohio offers low-cost, low stress communities in a combination of micropolitan and metropolitan cities. This diversity provides executives and employees the resources and time to make any ambition achievable. Ohio truly is the state of perfect balance."

About the Ohio Business Development Coalition

The Ohio Business Development Coalition (OBDC) is a nonprofit organization that markets the state for capital investment. The OBDC provides marketing strategy and implementation to support Ohio's economic development efforts. For more information on business development or business relocation, visit http://www.ohiomeansbusiness.com


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SOURCE Ohio Business Development Coalition
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