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Aug. 4, 2009

CONTACT:  John Tortorici, Interim Executive Director, OBA, (503) 780-7055
Dianne Danowski Smith, Publix Northwest PR |PA, (503) 201-7019

2009 contribution tops 2008 grant by 42 percent for work force development funding

(Portland, Ore.) - Oregon Bioscience Association has received a $200,000 grant from Worksystems, Inc. This money will continue underwriting the BioPro Work Force Training Program, which is specifically designed for employees of Oregon's bioscience industry.

Worksystems Inc. increased this year's grant by an astounding 42 percent due to the program's success and local employers' engagement. The grant is funded through the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Work Force Development. In 2008, the program's first year, 422 students from 53 Oregon companies participated in 51 BioPro classes.

According to John Tortorici, OBA's interim executive director, "The training courses offered by BioPro help both staff and management prepare to successfully operate in our sector's highly regulated environment. The success of this program has not only met, but has exceeded our expectations."

BioPro classes are suited for all levels of staff including technicians, supervisors, managers and executives. The curriculum is designed to not only develop a more knowledgeable and skilled workforce and improve productivity, but to also meet the growing demands for trained biotechnology and life science workers in Oregon, as well as to support recruiting efforts. The curriculum features training programs in product development, manufacturing, quality assurance, quality control, regulatory affairs, engineering, information technology and technical support. Courses are available in four-hour to full-day sessions and include FDA regulatory topics, LEAN manufacturing practices, statistics, project management and communications. Classes are held at facilities that suit the needs of the class, often at the facilities of OBA member firms or in centrally located public training facilities.

The Worksystems Inc. funding underwrites classes held in Multnomah and Washington counties. Funding is being sought to offer classes in Southern and Central Oregon this year. Full details about BioPro and a calendar of classes are available at OBA's Web site, www.oregonbio.org.

About the Oregon Bioscience Association
The Oregon Bioscience Association and its 165 member companies work for Oregon's biotechnology and life science industries to create opportunity through community, collaboration and commercialization. OBA promotes the growth and quality of the bioscience industry in Oregon and continually seeks ways to support sustainability and growth in the life science, bioscience, biotechnology and device manufacturing industries and to create acceleration initiatives so members can achieve their full scientific, economic and social potential. OBA, a nonprofit membership association, is the Oregon affiliate of the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

Oregon has 602 bioscience establishments and 13 life science research institutions generating $6.2 billion in economic activity, 37,040 jobs, $1.7 billion in personal income and $250.5 million in local and property tax revenues. More about the Oregon Bioscience Association can be found at www.oregonbio.org.

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