Youth Biotech Event: Preparing For The Biotech Decade

Biotech is an emerging sector in Los Angeles County that is shaping our future economy and workforce. To pave the way and increase public awareness, on October 1, 2016, East Los Angeles College (ELAC) in conjunction with the University of Southern California (USC), Grifols Biologicals Inc. and Univision sponsored a dynamic event, “Preparing for the Biotech Decade” at ELAC. The event had over 600 attendees, including students from all levels and their parents, as well as, educators and individuals from the biotech industry. Los Angeles County Community and Senior Services also had the opportunity of participating.

The dynamic morning plenary provided youth and parents with a unique opportunity to learn through the personal experiences of Carlos I. Noriega, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC, Ret., former NASA Astronaut and Diana Ramos, MD, MPH, Medical Director for Reproductive Health, LA Public Health Department.

Maritza Dubie-Uribe, Youth Programs Manager at Community and Senior Services, participated in the event by moderating an engaging panel discussion of Workforce Development professionals made of: Jan Perry, General Manager for the City of Los Angeles Employment Workforce Development Department, Theda Douglas Associate Vice President, USC Government Partnerships and Programs, Willie Zuniga, President Grifols Biologicals Inc., and Andrew Chavez, Youth Success Story, Grifols Biologicals Inc. The panel discussion was well attended with over 80 youth, parents and educators.

The panelists shared from each unique viewpoint the current and future trends in biotech and what skills and education are needed to succeed in this emerging and competitive sector and where to access services to begin the career exploration process through the County America’s Job Centers of California and the City’s YouthSource centers. Unanimously all the panelists agreed that seeking a mentor was a critical element that should not be overlooked.

Youth left the session empowered with the valuable information gained as a result of the session, and were encouraged to visit the myriad of resource tables including information on our Los Angeles County Youth employment programs provided by our partner Hub Cities Consortium.