Article 3. San Diego Multiuse Biotechnology Training Center of California Unemployment Insurance Code >> Division 3. >> Part 1. >> Chapter 2. >> Article 3.

For purposes of this article, "center" means the San Diego Multiuse Biotechnology Training Center.
(a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:
  (1) Biotechnology represents one of the most promising, innovation-based growth industries of this era. California is the nation's leading state in biotechnology innovation and production.
  (2) The San Diego region, as the world's third largest biotechnology industry cluster, is host to world-class generators of science and technology in biotechnology and the related life sciences.
  (3) Despite the specialized nature of emerging biotechnology firms, their recent growth has been extensive, and with that growth has come an ever-increasing demand for trained biotechnology workers at all levels. The industry's workforce has grown at an annual rate of about 15 percent over the past five years, and California's biotechnology workforce could easily grow to over 250,000 by the year 2015 from its current level of 100,000.
  (4) Biotechnology employers need entry-level and advanced professionals that have a background in, and familiarity with, industrylike conditions for basic, applied, and translational research, development, and production. Based on recent studies, there is a clear and strong demand for applied bioscience training, but that demand is currently not being met by the region's universities and colleges.
  (5) Companies nationally have overwhelmingly endorsed an "industry-focused" approach of providing internship training programs directly with the companies, combined with "company-like" training activities.
  (6) Many firms have identified the difficulty in finding entry level biotechnology workers at both the graduate and undergraduate levels as being directly related to the students' lack of applied industry training or exposure. Many firms have had to extensively train new employees to teach them how to function in a biotechnology business environment. Additionally, nearly three-fourths of firms surveyed in San Diego and nationally have indicated that they would benefit from being able to hire workers that have been prepared to enter the workforce through advanced biotechnology internships and training of a "specific" nature.
  (7) San Diego and the surrounding area is served by many well-recognized academic institutions, from community colleges to universities offering doctorate programs, that supply educated workers to the biotechnology industry. At each academic level (AA, BS/BA, MS/MA, Ph.D.) curricula are in place, but most of the curricula are only marginally related to biotechnology workforce preparation in the applied sector. Applied education in the form of internships or instruction in practical science skills that would smooth the transition from academic institutions to the commercial biotechnology environment is even less prevalent than the biotechnology curricula offered at many schools, and is only now just emerging.
  (8) Many of California's firms have found that many students graduate from four-year university programs with adequate conceptual understanding of biotechnology, but with relatively little practical laboratory experience, especially in the skills and protocols that are specific to commercial ventures as opposed to academic research.
  (9) In 2001, the Legislature created the Pasadena Bioscience Center to address biotechnology workforce needs in the Los Angeles region. The Pasadena Bioscience Center provides applied workforce training and includes components for research and innovation, new business incubation, and bioinformatics. In cooperation with California State University, the City of Pasadena, Pasadena City College, the California Institute of Technology, Huntington Medical Research Institutes, and local biotechnology companies and organizations, the Pasadena Bioscience Center serves as a successful model of focused education and training, tailored to specific industry needs, and that may be utilized in other areas of the state.
  (b) The Legislature further finds and declares that to address workforce needs in biotechnology, a multiuse biotechnology training center is being created in San Diego to serve as an anchor and catalyst for the growth of biotechnology enterprises in San Diego. The center will operate as a nonprofit organization under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and will serve as a catalyst for accelerating the growth and formation of new bioscience enterprises that will create value-added jobs and high economic multipliers in the San Diego region. For this purpose:
  (1) The center will provide state-of-the-art, industry-oriented bioscience training and act as a strong contributor to the growth and retention of bioscience companies in the region. As such, the center, as proposed, will help encourage biotechnology companies to remain in the region, thereby offsetting the pull of other, less expensive business environments that have been recruiting both startup and existing local area bioscience companies.
  (2) The center will utilize the organization, programs, and work of the Pasadena Bioscience Center as successful models in the development of the San Diego Multiuse Biotechnology Training Center and its programs.
  (3) The new center will serve as a world class biotechnology workforce training facility offering practical, hands-on learning experiences, including short-term workshops and courses, and more extended training that will involve putting together multidisciplinary, multilevel teams of researchers, technicians, production specialists, apprentices, and students to work in a businesslike environment.
  (4) The center will coordinate an extensive applied biotechnology internship program that will place students in local biotechnology companies for practical training and experience.
  (5) The center will have the most relevant and advanced training possible, including an emphasis in bioinformatics, that will ensure that the center attains a position at the forefront of this rapidly expanding, cross-application specialization within biotechnology.
  (6) The center will have facilities and a collection of instruments not generally available to the region's secondary schools, colleges, or universities.
  (7) The center can serve as a capstone training site for regional institutions.
  (8) The center will address the needs of existing as well as future industry employees.
  (9) The center may appoint directors to a board of directors, and existing participants in the center may serve as the original board of directors. The center may appoint new directors, as necessary, in its discretion.
  (10) The center will work with private universities, companies, associations, and various public agencies through memoranda of understanding under Section 9702, for the purpose of coordinating services and receiving assistance and support.
The San Diego Community College District, California State University, University of California, Employment Development Department, Employment Training Panel, California Health and Human Services Agency, Labor and Workforce Development Agency, California Workforce Investment Board, and the San Diego Workforce Partnership may enter into memoranda of understanding with the center to utilize existing staff and resources to provide any of the following:
  (a) Funding, if moneys are appropriated.
  (b) Staff.
  (c) Program development.
  (d) Outreach.
  (e) Coordination.
  (f) Implementation.
  (g) Strategy.
  (h) Physical office, administration, and training space.