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Mason Celebrates Biotech Numbers

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Ann Thompson
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WVXU
So far, the Mason Tech Elevator program has nurtured 16 growth companies, including this one, and attracted a total of $120 million in venture capital.

In the past year and a half the City of Mason has attracted more than $400,000,000 in new biotechnology investment and 2,400 jobs. How did city leaders do it? By laying the groundwork years ago, as reported in 2013 by WVXU.

"Our biohealth growth metrics are stunning for 2015," says Mason Economic Development Director Michele Blair. She and others detailed the numbers at a Bio in Your Backyard meet-and-greet Tuesday at the Mason Tech Elevator, housing tier 2 start-ups.

Part of the excitement is the high-paying jobs. The latest BioOhio Growth Report, released in January, 2016, shows a 22 percent increase in payroll since 2009. The average wage of bioscience employees was $72,362 in 2014.

Employment in the southwest region was 13,244 in 2014, up 1.1 percent. Statewide, from 2013 to 2014 the report says bioscience employment dropped by over 1,000 largely due to the closure of Boehringer Ingelheim's Ben Venue Labs in Bedford, Ohio.

Two other potential growth areas, according to BioOhio are healthcare I-T and digital healthcare companies with the large amounts of data coming out of personal fitness devices and healthcare records.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.