Utah leaders announce plan to provide workers in the field of life sciences

Nov 20, 2023, 2:37 PM | Updated: 2:48 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — In Utah, there’s a growing demand for workers in the field of life sciences, but finding good talent is a challenge.

Utah leaders announced a plan on Monday to address this gap.

Gov. Spencer Cox asked lawmakers to approve a life sciences initiative that comes with a $7-million-dollar price tag.

He made his pitch at bioMérieux, a company headquartered in Utah that develops life-saving products used for diagnosing infectious diseases, and cancer screening.

The company is one of the more than 1,600 life sciences-related businesses that call Utah home.

Life sciences hub growing

Over the past 10 years, the governor said Utah’s life sciences hub was the fastest growing in the United States.

If lawmakers sign off on this initiative, the governor says the state can work with higher education institutions like the University of Utah and Utah State University to expand and create new programs and develop a strong workforce who is ready to go after graduation.

“The $7 million dollar investment comes at right time and will pay dividends for individuals, families and businesses for generations to come. We know this sector is part of the bright future of Utah,” Cox said.  Sen. Ann Millner, R-Ogden, says Utah is perfectly positioned to become a life sciences hub much like it is in the tech industry with Silicon Slopes.

She believes more companies will plant their roots here if the talent is here.

Cox recognizes this is a big request, and is only the first step. He is looking to the private sector to be part of this equation. He also says the state would like to do more in the future.

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Utah leaders announce plan to provide workers in the field of life sciences