SLATE Receives Funding As Part Of Regional Bioscience Jobs Accelerator Grant

New grant to boost St. Louis' bioscience industry

October 10, 2011 | 2 min reading time

This article is 11 years old. It was published on October 10, 2011.

The St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE), together with several area organizations, won the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge, a $1.8 million multi-agency federal grant.The grant is aimed at advancing high-growth industry clusters through public-private partnerships that foster job creation, global competition and regional economic growth. The St. Louis initiative is one of only 20 selected regions out of 125 applicants nationwide, and the only one focused on a bioscience cluster. Winning partnerships were selected by three federal agencies: Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA), Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA), and the Small Business Administration (SBA).

SLATE and the St. Louis County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) will receive $973,000 over four years from ETA to fund On-the-Job Training (OJT) at area bioscience companies. In addition, a portion of the funds will help expand the successful BounceBackSTL program for dislocated professionals. This will help retain high-skill jobseekers that have been displaced, and encourage workers with transferrable skills to consider a career in bioscience.

BioSTL, the new organization driving the growth of the St. Louis bioscience cluster, BioGenerator, the Center for Emerging Technologies (CET) and the St. Louis County Economic Council received a total of $703,000 over two years to support new company creation, job development and entrepreneur training. The St. Louis Minority Supplier Development Council (MSDC) received $150,000 over two years from SBA to work with minority and disadvantaged businesses interested in providing goods and services to bioscience companies. A joint coordinating committee of representatives from each grant-funded organization has been formed to ensure ongoing collaboration and leveraging of available resources.

SLATE and St. Louis County's Business Developers will facilitate OJT contracts with both established and start-up employers in the bioscience sector. OJT partially reimburses an employer for the wages associated with newly hired, permanent positions. The grant funds will also be used to reach out to displaced workers and minority individuals, through a series of Bioscience Boot Camps and related activities.

Investment in bioscience results in innovations and enormous local economic impact. "This is the type of collaboration we encourage throughout the City. It provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs and small business to look at new employees and to hire high-skilled, dislocated workers to get back into the workforce. Partnerships with industry and the City are vital to the ever-growing opportunities in the bioscience field here in St. Louis," said Mayor Slay.

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