Despite Amgen layoffs, bioscience industry ‘robust’ in Colo.

Clone of Photo: Boulder, ColoradoThe Boulder Chamber of Commerce is working to keep employees being laid off from a bioscience firm from leaving the area.

The highly-skilled workforce is a major reason the industry is thriving in Colorado, officials say. Amgen will close facilities in Boulder and Longmont by the end of the year, laying off 430 people.

The Boulder chamber, Amgen and other groups are providing a series of services to those being laid off, including job search help.

The employees include scientists, researchers and lab technicians. "It is those skills, fundamentally that talent, that makes Colorado’s and the Denver metro area’ s bioscience industry the powerhouse that it is," says Clif Harald, executive director of the Boulder Economic Council, the Chamber's development agency.

Harald says a recent report shows more than 15,000 bioscience jobs at 600 firms in the Denver metro area.

He says the industry continues to expand.

"We are seeing that growth," Harald says. "This is on top of a very robust, well-established globally competitive industry in our own backyard, so there is reason to be optimistic the opportunities for these employees."