The bioscience industry on Prince Edward Island
More than 50 bioscience companies on PEI have over $200 million in export sales. The sector has added almost 1,000 jobs over the past decade, and currently employs over 1,500 people.
Bioscience on Prince Edward Island – Hiring practices
Elanco, Charlottetown & Victoria-by-the-Sea
Sekisui Diagnostics PEI Inc, Charlottetown
Somru Bioscience Inc., West Royalty Industrial Park
Timeless Veterinary Systems, Charlottetown
For more information on employment opportunities in the bioscience industry on PEI, contact Vivian Beer at 902-367-4407 or e-mail [email protected].
What PEI Bioscience companies focus on
- Human health & nutrition
- Fish health
- Animal health & nutrition
- Human/animal health diagnostics
- Contract manufacturing services
- Medical devices
The Prince Edward Island BioAlliance leads the development and expansion of bioscience and biotechnology on the Island. The Alliance brings together public and private companies and agencies, researchers, governments, and investors. It celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2015.
The organization is currently working on a multi-year strategy for growth, and predicts that the industry could expand to 2,000 jobs with annual sales of $400 million by 2020.
Connecting and Advancing Women in BioTechnology
BioTalent Canada is collaborating with the Canadian Society of Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST) to allow us to join their online mentoring site – Make Possible. Aside from future local chapter events co-organized by PEI BioAlliance and BioTalent Canada, this online tool is a great way for us to connect on a virtual mentorship platform at any time.
The Canadian Society of Women in Science and Technology, SCWIST, is a professional network founded 35 year ago and promotes, encourages and empowers women and girls in science, engineering and technology. SCWIST is located in Vancouver, BC; however, it recently launched the Make Possible virtual mentorship platform nationwide with funding through Status of Women Canada.
Make Possible is a free mentoring network to advance professionals with careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) virtually or in person. This online platform allows women to become a mentor, mentee or both with other professionals across Canada. In addition to its focus on mentorship, Make Possible is an excellent tool to create valuable network connections and access best practices to help Canadian women achieve their career aspirations.
In the upcoming months, Make Possible will have a “Groups” feature that will allow us to set up a BioTalent Canada group. We will let you know when that advanced feature is available. Take the site for a test run and give us your feedback.
To create an account on Make Possible, please follow the link:
Any questions? Please contact Vivian Beer, PEI BioAlliance, [email protected].
National Bank Tower
134 Kent Street, Ste. 302
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Exploring careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
The IB (International Baccalaureate) biology class at Charlottetown Rural High School is helping fellow students explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers through a new website.
This project is one of 11 national finalists in Samsung’s Solve For Tomorrow contest.
The website, created by the students, lists jobs related to Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Computer Science, and Math. Details include:
- Average salary
- Education required
- Skills required
- Job availability
- Typical day on the job
To find that information, students investigated sources such as Service Canada, Statistics Canada, Holland College, and UPEI.
The website also features brain games meant to spark interest in those careers. “We want to instill a greater interest in youth about science careers,” says Patricia Shields, IB Teacher Advisor.
“The challenge is to show youth how they can study and work on PEI. We also want to show the potential that more local STEM companies can attract a larger workforce here. Along with introducing the website, the class also hosted a day of science experiments with junior high kids.”
As a finalist, the school will be given new technology worth $20,000. The top two winners get $50,000 and will be featured in a video with YouTube stars Mitch Moffitt and Greg Brown of AsapScience.
Students’ career choices
Grade 11 IB students Tristan Atkins, Asia MacMillan and Clair Auld were impressed by their class’s research.
“Both UPEI and Holland College offer good STEM courses, and it’s great that Atlantic Veterinary College is nearby,” says Tristan. “It’s good to see these programs are attracting international students who may choose to stay to work on PEI.” She is thinking of being either a veterinarian or pursuing a career in chemistry or biology. “I like to keep my options open.”
“I’m thinking about either biology or chemistry,” Clair says. “I like chemistry because I enjoy seeing how materials react when they are mixed together.”
“At first, I wanted to be a vet because I’m interested in animal health,” Asia says. “Now I’m getting more interested in human health. I see cancer as a huge problem and I’m thinking of a career in radiation therapy.”
Grace MacFadyen, grade seven student at East Wiltshire Intermediate School, recently participated in the Science Fair. “So far this year, we have studied animal and plant cells and we have lab work which I really like,” says Grace. “I see science in my future, maybe as a researcher or scientist or doctor. I want to see how our everyday products lead to bad chemicals in your body. In the olden days people used home remedies and I want to go back to that.”
Bioscience post-secondary education options on PEI
- UPEI: Bachelor, Masters and PhD programs
- Holland College Bioscience Technology program
- UPEI/Holland College Bachelor of Bioscience degree program is offered jointly by UPEI and Holland College:
- Option No. 1: Students, who have completed the college’s Bioscience Technology program, are given a two-year credit towards a B.Sc. at the university.
- Option No. 2: Students take general science courses in their first year at UPEI, and then apply for the program at Holland College. If accepted, students follow a specified course of study at the university for their second year, attend the Bioscience Technology program at the college in their third year and return to UPEI for their fourth year.
- On the job training will be provided to all students
- Atlantic Veterinary College Masters and PhD programs
Women talk about their experiences in the bioscience industry
Susan Rowe, Chief Operating Officer for Island Abbey Foods, says her team has grown to approximately 70 employees in 2015. “Our senior management team has an equal balance of men and women who are dedicated to growing the business.”
“Our company offers on-the-job training opportunities and co-op placements. We advocate that students need to learn to apply classroom theory to practical work experience. We support graduate mentorship programs to help new grads gain experience in the workforce.”
Dr. Jennifer Slemmer, Instructor at the Bioscience Technology program at Holland College, says the program attracts both male and female students. Jennifer would like to see more networking events where people can meet face to face. “Personal meetings foster connections, and make people feel welcome and supported to move forward in the sector.”
Maureen Mix is the Human Resources Manager for Elanco Canada Ltd. on PEI. She says the company makes a conscious effort to recruit women into the industry. “Our organization has a 50/50 split of male to female employees at our sites across PEI as well as within our Canadian affiliate.”
Tracey Jewells-Treige, Associate Director of Projects for Sekisui Diagnostics P.E.I. Inc., started working in the industry over 25 years ago as a Medical Laboratory Technologist. She graduated from the Medical Laboratory Technology program at the Nova Scotia Institute of Technology.
“Back then, the majority of those in the program and those working in the hospital lab were women. Many already had a Science degree but needed more focused training in order to gain employment. Female science graduates now have a multitude of options.”
Katherine Ballem is a Unit Manager in Manufacturing at BioVectra. Katherine says the PEI BioAlliance does a fantastic job in creating networking and mentoring opportunities.
“Women are graduating from science, engineering, math and computer science programs in large numbers, but it is not clear how many women are going on to careers in those fields or whether they are choosing other fields.”
The value of networking & mentoring in the Bioscience industry on PEI
Katherine Ballem says the PEI BioAlliance does a fantastic job in creating networking and mentoring opportunities.
Maureen Mix says her company’s top female talent appreciate the various career opportunities made available to them. “In discussion with associates, many indicate that in-house mentoring and professional development opportunities have influenced their career decisions within the organization. We strongly encourage our female leaders to build strong internal and external relationships; these networks are invaluable to our future leaders.”
Susan Rowe says she strongly believes in mentoring students. “Our company offers on-the-job training opportunities and co-op placements. We advocate that students need to learn to apply classroom theory to practical work experience. We support graduate mentorship programs to help new grads gain experience in the workforce.”
Jennifer Slemmer would like to see more networking events where people can meet face to face. “Personal meetings foster connections, and make people feel welcome and supported to move forward in the sector.”
For bioscience networking opportunities, visit www.peibioalliance.com/job-seekers.php.
|For more information about the Bioscience sector on PEI, call 902-367-4400. Visit www.peibioalliance.com.|
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