Touting the area’s biotech hub together
With the growth of companies such as PPD Laboratories in Middleton, it has become increasingly important for the Madison area to be recognized as a life science hub, said Jon Denissen, senior vice president and head of the local PPD operations.
“So we can attract experienced scientists from around the country,” Denissen said. “We’re competing nationally for talent.”
Members of BioForward Wisconsin, the organization promoting the state’s biohealth industry, are banding together on an initiative to attract employees and retain them, said Lisa Johnson, BioForward CEO.
“PPD has been a strong supporter of this initiative,” Johnson said.
She said BioForward has enhanced its Career Center — a list of available positions in the industry — and has been conducting a LinkedIn campaign aimed at graduates of the UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee and Marquette University who live out-of-state.
The organization has compiled a brochure that companies can take to job fairs or send to prospective employees. A Women in Biohealth group is another effort, supporting women in the industry, Johnson said.
“The biohealth sector is a major employer in Dane County,” Johnson said.
But she said a lot of prospective employees don’t realize how many options are available here.
Changing that perception “is one of BioForward’s major projects this year,” Johnson said.