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Deal opens BioScience Training Center in Newton County

Georgia Quick Start facility to train workforce for jobs in life sciences | 09/10/2015

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ATLANTA, September 10, 2015—Gov. Nathan Deal joined state officials and executives from Baxalta, Inc. (formerly Baxter) today to cut ribbon marking the grand opening of the new $14 million Georgia BioScience Training Center in Newton County.

“A skilled, professionally trained and qualified workforce is essential for Georgia to usher in a new era of bioscience industry,” said Deal. “The BioScence Training Center is a showcase destination where biotech prospects and industry groups can see the level of support and training expertise Georgia can provide. Operated by Quick Start, the No. 1 workforce training program in the country, this first-of-its-kind training center offers companies a great opportunity to secure a qualified workforce and offers Georgians resources and support to ensure their success in these high performance jobs.”

The new training center is located directly across from the site of Baxalta’s $1 billion biomanufacturing facility in Social Circle. The training center is owned by the state of Georgia and operated by Georgia Quick Start, a division of the Technical College System of Georgia. Overall, the facility will be a key component of the state’s long-term initiative to promote and grow the life science industries. The new training center is currently dedicated to Baxalta training and includes flexible space to accommodate the training needs of additional life sciences companies that choose to locate or expand in Georgia.

“Our employees are the core of this mission,” said senior vice president and head of global operations of Baxalta John Furey. “With Georgia Quick Start’s help, we will continue to attract and train top-talent in the area to join our Baxalta team.”

The facility features custom-made technology that simulates Baxalta’s biomanufacturing processes such as centrifugation, chromatography, nanofiltration and aseptic filling. It also has space for the aseptic production of pharmaceutical-grade clinical samples. Additionally, the training center is equipped to deliver training on a wide range of advanced manufacturing technologies including mechatronics, metrology and process controls.

“A key part of ensuring our facility’s success is having the right people on the ground to manufacture our treatments efficiently and effectively,” said Executive vice president and president of Baxalta’s immunology division Jacopo Leonardi. “We are grateful to have an industry-leading partner in Georgia Quick Start at our side, who will help ensure this facility adds to our gold-standard in this practice area.”

“This is a significant milestone in Georgia’s growth as a premier location for biomanufacturing, and solidifies the state’s commitment to the life science industry,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr. “To be able to offer biotech companies access to customized training and one-of-a-kind equipment gives us a major competitive advantage in the global marketplace.”

“Georgia has a seamless pipeline for preparing a qualified workforce – one that includes our K-12 schools, colleges and research universities, technical colleges and Quick Start’s customized training,” said Commissioner Gretchen Corbin, head of the Technical College System of Georgia. “In addition to the skilled graduates coming out of our existing technical college bioscience programs, this facility gives us a world-class asset to ensure our citizens are trained to be the best workforce possible for the life sciences industry as it continues to grow in Georgia.”

About Life Sciences in Georgia

The state of Georgia has a balanced healthcare and life science ecosystem that spans the value chain. An idea can be born, researched, tested, commercialized and produced in Georgia and then delivered quickly and efficiently to almost anywhere in the world. Industry leaders like Baxalta, Alcon, Novartis, Ethicon, McKesson and UCB are a few of the life science companies that have already discovered the advantages of doing business in Georgia. The state is home to more than 400 life science companies, 225 HIT companies, more than 130 hospitals, 40 leading health organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cancer Society, eight research universities and numerous industry partnerships. Visit Georgia.org/LifeSciences to learn more.

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CONTACT:

Jen Talaber
jtalaber@georgia.gov

Andrea Briscoe
abriscoe@georgia.gov