Joan Hartley

State Senator

Joan Hartley

Chief Deputy President Pro Tempore

An Independent Voice

June 2, 2017

Hartley Leads Passage of Legislation to Strengthen Connecticut’s Bioscience Pipeline

Bill will ensure that students are trained and ready to fill jobs in the bioscience sector

HARTFORD, CT – Senator Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury) today led the unanimous, bipartisan Senate passage of legislation that will ensure that students graduating from Connecticut’s institutions of higher education are equipped with the tools they need to pursue careers in the growing bioscience sector.

“This bill will help us target curriculum to meet the needs of the many bioscience and precision medicine firms that are looking to hire new talent,” said Senator Hartley. “The Jackson Laboratory and other employers are creating jobs that attract top talent from around the world. We want to ensure that more of those jobs are going to Connecticut residents, and this bill is a critical part of building the pipeline that will allow us to do that.”

Senate Bill 959  requires that Connecticut evaluate and strengthen the workforce pipeline to better meet the needs of the bioscience and precision medicine sector.  This will ensure that Connecticut’s state college and university system is preparing students for jobs needed in these sectors, include: researchers and clinicians to data scientists, health informaticians and, and genomic counselors. The demand for each of these jobs is growing, and Connecticut residents will be trained to meet that demand.

The bill will establish a working group tasked with taking an inventory of current educational resources available in the state to prepare students for careers in bioscience. In January of 2018, the group will deliver recommendations on how those resources can be improved and expanded upon.

A 2015 economic competitiveness diagnostic of Connecticut identified bioscience as an emerging job sector and noted that the bioscience sector has great potential to become a major economic driver. In response to those findings, Senator Hartley and her colleagues on the legislature’s Commerce Committee have worked with stakeholders to develop and pass legislation encouraging further development in these areas. Senate Bill 959 is one of several bills that have been identified as being critical to pursuing Connecticut’s economic strategy in regards to growing bioscience.

Now that Senate Bill 959 has passed the Senate, it moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.