San Diego Gets $4.95M to Boost Life Sciences Employment

2/16/10Follow @bvbigelow

A $4.95 million grant from the federal stimulus package will be used to boost education, training, and placement services for people who are seeking jobs in San Diego’s life sciences and health care professions, according to local biotech and education leaders.

The grant is part of more than $225 million in stimulus funds awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor to create jobs in health care and related high growth industries. About $100 million is intended to help train health care workers throughout California, according to a statement issued by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. In addition to providing training and certification, the governor says the funding is intended to help health care providers adopt and expand the use of health information technology.

In a statement, Schwarzenegger says, “The health IT grants will help California build a world class system to promote and expand the way information is shared, protecting medical privacy, promoting efficiency, and will ultimately help reduce health care costs.”

The three-year grant allotted for the San Diego region will be used to boost a collaborative education and training program for more than 1,000 incumbent and unemployed workers in the life sciences, according to an announcement issued by San Diego State University, Biocom, the San Diego Workforce Partnership, and the Southern California Biotechnology Center at Miramar College.

Known as the BRIDGE, (Biotechnology Readiness, Immersion, Certification, and Degrees for Gainful Employment), the collaborative education and training program is focused on the critical need for clinical laboratory scientists, medical laboratory technicians, medical physicists, and scientists. The program also is intended to help military veterans find employment opportunities in the life sciences and health care.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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