"This grant recognizes that San Diego's innovation economy continues to foster the growth of new and important industries," said Joe Panetta, President and CEO of BIOCOM.
"This opportunity will allow us to build upon the already-strong foundation of a biofuels industry that has developed in the region through the presence of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and SD-CAB in addition to numerous cutting-edge companies," said Panetta.
A June 2010 analysis of the algal biofuels R&D in the region, conducted by the San Diego County of Governments' (SANDAG) economic bureau, reports that the industry currently provides 410 direct jobs and $56 million in direct economic activity and $108 million in total economic activity annually.
"Funding for new workforce training strategies will ensure that our region, including the Imperial Valley, will have a skilled and ready workforce to meet the continued demands of the emerging biofuels industry and in the end create jobs for our region's citizens," said Julie Meier Wright, CEO of the San Diego Regional EDC.
"The San Diego biofuels industry faces critical workforce shortages," said Steve Mayfield, Director of SD-CAB and a professor of biology at UC San Diego, one of the institutions that will train future biofuels workers. "The demand for these jobs will accelerate over the next three years and in order to meet this demand, it is imperative to develop the infrastructure to train the biologists, engineers, and production technicians the industry will require."
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