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L.A. County Announces Newly Created Life Sciences Liaison for Unincorporated Communities

L.A. County Announces Newly Created Life Sciences Liaison for Unincorporated Communities 672 171 COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

September 26, 2023
Lara Arsinian, DEO Communications

L.A. County Announces Newly Created Life Sciences Liaison for Unincorporated Communities

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, LA County Planning, and the LA County Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) are pleased to announce the appointment of Melissa Reyes as the County’s first ever “Life Sciences Liaison” for unincorporated communities, as part of the County’s overall efforts to expand development projects, investments, and equitable high-road career opportunities in the life science industry. The Life Sciences Liaison will help this industry, which includes biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and equipment, research and manufacturing, scientific/research tools, and food and agriculture biotech, successfully navigate the County’s land use, entitlement and permitting process and, in partnership with DEO, drive inclusive economic and workforce development opportunities that benefit local residents.

Stemming from a July 2022 motion authored by Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, the appointment of the Life Sciences Liaison is a key component of the County’s overall commitment to advance this industry through strategies that include investing in a diverse and equitable talent pipeline, incentives to support the industry, and development of a biotechnology park at the Harbor-UCLA campus.

“We are bringing a first-of-its-kind life science industry liaison to Los Angeles County because this position is critical to expanding access to opportunities within this life-saving industry. I’m thrilled to welcome Melissa Reyes to this role,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “She is an experienced planner who will help lead current and prospective bioscience, medical technology, and clean technology firms through every step of the permitting and entitlement process. She will also help ensure this industry continues to grow and thrive locally by providing quality, family-sustaining wage jobs to the region.”

“LA County Planning recognizes the immense value and central role that Melissa will bring in delivering effective and comprehensive services to the ever-growing life science industry,” said Amy J. Bodek, Director of Regional Planning. “This is the latest example of our efforts to provide a seamless permitting service to our customers that will expand housing and employment opportunities throughout our unincorporated .”

“At DEO, we’re focused on unlocking LA County’s economic potential, building high-road partnerships and supporting emerging high-growth industry clusters in the County, including the life science sector, which provides 100k jobs and more than $60 billion in total economic output throughout the region,” said Kelly LoBianco, Director of the Department of Economic Opportunity. “We’re ready to jump in and work closely with Melissa in her new role as the County’s Life Sciences Liaison, with LA County Planning, and with all our County partners to ensure this industry and our business community have a seamless experience navigating and accessing resources vital to their growth and development including County contracting opportunities, worker services, real estate and capital access support, and more.”

The life sciences industry provides 100,000 jobs throughout the region at an average annual salary of more than $100,000, with more than 50 percent of positions not requiring a bachelor’s degree, offering opportunities for inclusive growth and additional workforce pipelines that support pathways for County residents into these quality jobs.  DEO, launched in July 2022, brings together a portfolio of County and partner economic and workforce development services and initiatives ranging from talent pipelines and wage subsidies, to enhanced navigation of services and access to capital and contracting opportunities. Under the leadership of the Board of Supervisors and in concert with other County Departments and partners, DEO is developing a broader strategy, based on data and stakeholder engagement, to support inclusive economic growth within the life sciences industry. DEO anticipates initial and longer-term investments to meet the hiring needs of life sciences employers and inspire a diverse talent pipeline; launch of a Life Sciences Center of Excellence in 2024 as part of the redesigned America’s Job Centers of California; and completion of an asset and gap analysis to better understand the County’s role and prioritize opportunities that could be addressed with County resources.

The beginning-to-end services provided by the Life Sciences Liaison will guide development proposals from the initial application stage through obtaining all required permits and licenses from other County departments. The Life Sciences Liaison will also bring together rom County departments involved with the land use entitlement, permitting, and licensing processes for the development of life sciences campuses, manufacturing, and laboratories.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to request an LA County Pre-Application Counseling Meeting, which includes, for a, in-depth pre-application consultation with all relevant County departments. LA County Pre-Application Counseling Meetings allow prospective applicants to receive feedback from all County departments in one. To request an LA County Pre-Application Counseling Meeting, fill out the application form here.

To connect to L.A. County’s Life Sciences Liaison or to learn more, email mreyes2@planning.lacounty.gov or call (213) 974-6411. To learn more about DEO, visit here.  To learn more about LA County Planning, visit here.


About DEO: Launched in July 2022, DEO helps job seekers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and residents access life changing opportunities, and is home to the Office of Small Business, LA County’s one stop shop dedicated to prospective entrepreneurs and small business owners. Follow @EconOppLA on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook or visit opportunity.lacounty.gov to get the latest from Team DEO.

About LA County Planning:  LA County Planning is the planning department for all areas outside a city in LA County.  We provide all major planning functions for these unincorporated areas.  We help write long range plans, review development projects, and respond to zoning complaints.  In 2023, we are celebrating 100 years of the LA County Regional Planning Commission.  Follow @LACDRP on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook or visit planning.lacounty.gov for information about available services, public meeting schedules, and planning projects.

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