Los Angeles

USC President Touts Planned Biotech Center as Job Creator

The university's development projects include the USC Village and a proposed biotechnology campus

The University of Southern California has launched several development projects focused on drawing college students to Los Angeles, and keeping them employed in the area after they graduate.

One of the university's proposed initiatives for creating employment opportunities is a biotechnology center planned to be built near the USC Keck School of Medicine in East LA.

"Biomedical technology is going to be the fastest growing sector of our global economy," USC President C.L. Max Nikias told NBC4. "I’m worried that Los Angeles is falling behind."

Each year, LA area colleges and universities graduate an estimated 5,000 engineering students, yet many leave the city due to a lack of employment opportunities, Nikias said.

Though many details about the biotechnology center, for which planning began in February, have yet to be determined, Nikias said that he sees the center as an investment in the futures of both USC students and community members. 

Nikias estimated that the biotechnology center could create 3,000 construction jobs and 4,000 permanent positions.

Meanwhile, USC's current construction project, the $650 million USC Village designed to accomodate student housing and retail establishments north of campus, is underway and on track to be finished in fall 2017.

"You’re going to see coffee shops, you’re going to see restaurants, you're going to see retail," Nikias said. "And it's going to be very welcoming for our students but also for our neighbors."

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