KC Region Increases Life Sciences Employment by 22 Percent in Three Years 

KC Region Increases Life Sciences Employment by 22 Percent in Three Years 

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Recently released 2018 Life Science Industry Census shows increase in number of companies, employees

KANSAS CITY, MO – The 2018 Life Science Industry Census, a survey of life science companies in eastern Kansas and western Missouri, shows strong growth in this vital sector of the region’s economy.

The census found a net increase of 43 companies in the region since 2015, which represents an impressive 17% growth in life science companies and a 22% increase in employment.

The census, which has been conducted every three years for the past 12 years, reveals consistent growth in the number of companies and overall employment in the life sciences industry in the region. For example, the region has grown from 199 life sciences companies employing about 18,500 people (2006 census) to 292 companies employing about 35,000 people (2018 census).

“Our regional life science ecosystem is vibrant and evolving,” said Dr. Keith Gary, Vice President of BioNexus KC. “While our employment growth is primarily provided by larger companies, most companies on the Census list have 25 or fewer employees. We must ensure we support the capital needs for our startup companies and the workforce needs of all life science companies.”

When asked about future hiring trends, 86% of respondents indicated plans to add employees during the next 36 months. While a bachelor’s degree is still the most preferred credential for entry level positions, 30% of entry level jobs only require a high school diploma.

Kansas is home to about 64% of the life sciences companies in the region, while Missouri is home to about 36% of the companies. In addition, Missouri has more than half of the life sciences workforce (56%) with the remaining 44% employed in Kansas.

BioNexus KC has partnered with Investment Resources to conduct the census project since 2006. By using a consistent methodology for data collection, each new census adds a level of depth to the information previously gathered and allows for appropriate analysis and comparison of data sets. Essentially each individual census is a chapter in the history of the life sciences industry in the region.

“The value of performing this study every three years cannot be overstated, as it allows us to track and share the growth of the life sciences in the region,” said Gary. “After consistently releasing a new census every three years for more than a decade, we can assess micro and macro impacts on the life science community.”

About the Life Sciences Industry Census:

The goal of the data is to better define the regional composition of life sciences companies and to define the scope of economic activity in this vital sector of the region’s economy. Companies included in the study must be engaged in research and development or directly support research and development activities within the life sciences. The census defines life sciences as any research activities related to the biology and/or chemistry of animals, humans or plants.

The goal of the current census is to:
• Update the previous census of life science companies completed in 2015.
• Illustrate the life sciences cluster growth and expansion in the last three years.
• Identify employment and research trends in the region’s companies.
• Provide an accurate resource for policymakers, economic and workforce development professionals, educators, scientists, and companies.

The Life Sciences Industry Census is the only repeated systematic assessment of industry assets in the region. Moreover, the Census collects workforce data providing important information for institutions across the educational continuum regarding industry needs.

About BioNexus KC:
BioNexus KC believes we can do more to care for people and animals. We inspire thinkers from different disciplines to combine their efforts for a common purpose — healthcare innovation. From bioinformatics to cancer research and beyond, our goal is to provide the collaborative tools needed to showcase emerging technologies and bring them from conception to reality.

For more information visit www.BioNexusKC.org or contact Dr. Keith Gary, Vice President, BioNexus KC at 816-753-7700.