Vacaville unveils ‘California Biomanufacturing Center’ plan to spur $2B in building, 10,000 jobsNovember 02 2020
NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL
October 22, 2020
The city of Vacaville on Thursday signaled the start of the next generation of development of its world class biomanufacturing cluster by announcing plans to expand it on approximately 300 acres adjacent to existing facilities and to name the entire zone the California Biomanufacturing Center.
At the same time, the city announced the creation of the California Biomanufacturing Center Inc., a nonprofit intended to accelerate the growth of the sector in Vacaville by working with industry and academic partners to ensure Vacaville remains a place for biomanufacturing to flourish and to ensure that the industry and community thrive together.
The city was set to reveal further details at an 11 a.m. press conference posted online:
Mayor Ron Rowlett said the center is a reflection of the city’s “deep and ongoing commitment to the sector” and said it will help to guide the continuing growth of the industry locally.
The city expects that this expansion will lead to more than $2 billion in industrial development, 3.5 million square feet of commercial real estate, and the addition of 10,000 jobs with a payroll of more than $1 billion a year.
“Vacaville has the land, infrastructure, and workforce that the biotechnology industry needs to grow, as well as a long-standing commitment to make doing so a streamlined and efficient process,” Rowlett said. “With the California Biomanufacturing Center, we are building on our proven success with the industry to secure Vacaville’s continued leadership as a biomanufacturing center going forward.”
Also at the unveiling press conference at the Solano Community College Biotechnology and Science Building are set to be Rep. John Garamendi, D-Solano; Solano Community College President Dr. Celia Esposito-Noy; and California Biomanufacturing Center President Matthew Gardner.
Vacaville, located 50 miles northeast of San Francisco along Interstate 80 between the UC Berkeley and Davis campuses, has had biomanufacturing since the 1980s. In 1994, Genentech acquired land for its biologics manufacturing facility. The facility is said to be among the largest biotech drug manufacturing complexes in the world.
“The United States must not only rebuild its once robust manufacturing sector but do so with an eye toward the types of advanced manufacturing that will define the future,” Garamendi said in the announcement. “The biomanufacturing strength of Vacaville represents an important opportunity for us to grow the types of high value jobs with career wages that are essential to our country’s future success while at the same time strengthening our nation’s strategic competitiveness and security.”
State Sen. Bill Dodd, whose District 3 includes Vacaville, said in the news release that the city represents a bright spot in the state’s economy.
“Growing biomanufacturing will help build a sustainable economy for the region and the state,” Dodd said. “This will create good paying jobs in an environmentally friendly way and help us secure a prosperous future.”
During the event, California Biomanufacturing Center and Solano Community College are set to announce a memorandum of understanding to guide ongoing collaboration between the two. To support future development of the city’s biomanufacturing cluster, the new nonprofit will work closely with industry and its partner Solano Community College to address the workforce training needs of local industry and workforce development opportunities.
Solano Community College has offered a Bachelor of Science degree in biomanufacturing since August 2017.
“Building on the college’s existing program, our collaboration with the city, and our partnership with the California Biomanufacturing Center, we will not only help meet the workforce demands of biomanufacturers today, but well into the future,” said Solano Community College’s Esposito-Noy. “Our program was the first program of its kind to teach students the skills and knowledge required to enter biomanufacturing jobs and has served as a model for producing graduates with ready expertise to meet the strenuous demands of industry.”
Gardner in the announcement said the collaboration with the college is “a reflection of the fertile environment for the industry that has evolved in the city.”
“Vacaville is the envy of many communities that have dreams of becoming a center for biomanufacturing, but lack the talent, commitment, and space to do so,” said Gardner. “The center will not only work with industry to address manufacturing challenges but ensure that Vacaville remains a place for biomanufacturing to flourish.”