LAEDC continues to support living-wage jobs in bioscience via support for Overlay Zones

LAEDC continues to take action to support growth of living-wage jobs in the promising bioscience industry in LA, and on April 30th, LAEDC provided public testimony in favor of Bioscience Overlay Zones, which were approved in a motion by the LA County Board of Supervisors.  The Overlay Zones will help businesses create the needed specialized work spaces, by making the entitlement process simpler and easier to navigate.

It is generally acknowledged that developers of these jobs-creating work spaces face a lot of risk because they can’t accurately estimate when projects will be approved, or understand next steps, and so these spaces just don’t get built.  That deters job creation, and tends to send these companies elsewhere so that LA doesn’t see the job creation.  With the Overlay Zones, it becomes easier for the LA region to lead in this industry, which creates jobs at many skills-levels, from middle-skill jobs such as lab techs on up.  That fact allows residents of our local communities to access these living-wage jobs and career growth opportunities, starting with community college certificates — which really strikes a chord here at LAEDC.  The opportunities are very inclusive.

LAEDC has also been connecting community college faculty with bioscience companies to help update college programs (see CCW Project Update, pages 10-13) , LAEDC is now hosting a bioscience industry council to engage stakeholders, and LAEDC also produced a widely used Bioscience Implementation Plan in 2016 which serves as a playbook for removing barriers to LA’s competitive strength so that the industry grows and adds jobs.  For more details about these topics, please contact Isabel Duran at LAEDC, at [email protected]

In testimony before the Board of Supervisors, LAEDC Public Relations Director Lawren Markle said, “A lot of these (bioscience)  jobs are accessible to ordinary folks with something more than a high school degree, they might have a community college certificate, and so these jobs are accessible to people who are in the communities already.  But investors and developers who want to put up these facilities are discouraged by the entitlement process and uncertainty and so they don’t want to pursue these projects.  This motion, by streamlining the regulatory process, is going to bring a lot of these living-wage jobs to the communities, and so I want to say thank you and LAEDC is in support.”

Read more about the new Bioscience Overlay Zones (and what’s next) on the website of LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, HERE.  Thanks to Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and co-author Supervisor Hilda Solis for their leadership on this issue.

View the video of the full discussion and LAEDC’s remarks HERE at the 3:37:45 mark.


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