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Thursday, March 14, 2013

New Jerseys Plan To Help Biotech/Pharma Workers

Give a man the reputation of an early riser and he can sleep til noon.   - Mark Twain
New Jersey has come up with a plan to offer $14,000 to employers who hire unemployed biotech/pharma workers. The concept here is that New Jersey does not want to lose its highly educated and formerly highly paid people. They enjoyed a period of financial success and they want to keep the gravy train rolling.

The Mark Twain quote above sums up the rather absurd situation. Biotech/pharma had earned a reputation as a successful lucrative industry. Along came the burdens of capitalism. The industry is shedding jobs and the local economy is taking a hit. What remains is the reputation. The local government officials have conspired with the local biotech/pharma executives to force the people of New Jersey to shell out $14,000 every time this failing industry hires a new person.

The $14,000 per person is part of a $3.6 million federal emergency grant, which includes $1 million in on-the-job-training dollars that have to be spent by the September deadline.  
If every dime of the $1 million is spent, about 71 people will land jobs. The workers must have lost their jobs in 2010 or later from various locations of Bristol-Myers Squibb, Hoffmann-La Roche, Johnson & Johnson, Merck/Schering-Plough, and Pfizer.
3400 drug company jobs were lost in New Jersey between 2008 and 2010. The government is going to spend one million dollars to create 71 jobs. Who will get the money? 
The $14,000 grants will underwrite training for six months for up to 50 percent to 90 percent of the employee's salary - although jobs in the pharma sector typically paid much higher than that.
At 50 percent we are looking at an annual salary of 48K. At 90% we are looking at $31K per year. 

The most curious logic in this plan is the training. 
"Every company is going to train their new employees," Flatley said. "This allows us to pay a portion of that training."
What is it about former BMS, Roche, Merck, and Pfizer scientists that lead people to believe they need more education and a $14K dowry? Were they lacking value? Are they still lacking value? Does a Cargo Cult worker have anything to offer the next cult?

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