MassBio commissioned BW Research Partnership to conduct research identifying workforce needs, expectations, and challenges across the Massachusetts life sciences industry. Findings from 129 biopharma companies show that 78 percent expect to grow their workforce over the next 12 months with both entry- and non-entry-level new hires, with most also having experienced difficulty in filling open positions during the last year. MassBio’s industry snapshot released last year identified a near-term demand of up to 40,000 new workers by 2024.

The study offers specific short-term interventions and long-term strategies to inform how the life sciences ecosystem can supply a workforce to meet the industry’s anticipated growth. These recommendations include focusing on non-four-year degree pathways with hands-on experience, partnerships with Minority Serving Institutions, increasing career awareness in younger students, and centralizing workforce development efforts. The focus of the recommendations and a priority for MassBio is to improve access for underrepresented and disadvantaged populations including women and people of color to opportunities by meeting them where they are geographically, educationally, culturally, and in life.