Bio Matters: Well-educated workforce is key for Oklahoma bioscience companies

Sheri Stickley: Oklahoma bioscience firms pay well, but require a labor pool trained in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
BY Sheri Stickley Published: February 24, 2013
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•Create 53,000 science and engineering jobs

•Reach 160,000 total employment in high-technology establishments

•Produce $2.2 billion in annual research and development

•Generate $7.2 billion in annual science and technology commercial business industry

•Raise to $135,000 the level of science/technology economic productivity per science and engineering job.

“Never have science and math education been more important for our state,” said Oklahoma Secretary of Science and Technology Stephen McKeever, who chairs the council and also serves as vice president for Research and Technology Transfer at Oklahoma State University. “Oklahoma's science and technology industry, a great example of which is the growing biosciences sector, needs an educated and skilled workforce. Rigorous STEM education at K-12 and college is essential for the state's economic future.”

Should we achieve the goals recommended by the Science & Technology Council, the estimated economic impact to the state is more than $4 billion. But to reach those goals, we must continue to nurture the cornerstones of growth. Paramount among those cornerstones is quality STEM education.

Sheri Stickley is president and CEO of the Oklahoma Bioscience Association, www.okbio.org



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