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The Talent Zone: Vertex, The Innovation District and Boston

Posted by Devin Cole  October 26, 2011 11:45 AM

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The Innovation District in Boston is new and growing. Mayor Menino has supported its development to add to the world class medical and technology culture already prevalent in the Boston area. The arts, non-profits, green technology, restaurants, residential and start-ups are also calling the waterfront their home.

It is exciting to know that companies in Boston are thriving, retaining talent, tapping into our diverse college and university pool and expanding to budding neighborhoods like the Innovation District.

Lisa Anderson, Senior Director of Strategy Staffing for Vertex Pharmaceuticals and I recently talked about the changes in expansion and relocation the corporate headquarters is going through.

How many new candidates will you be hiring and where are you looking?

We have this past year, hired our first sales force and launched our first drug approved this past May. It’s been an exciting time here at Vertex. We have over 100 openings currently on our website and we have over 1300 employees in MA alone. Boston is a diverse, exciting place to live and work, with lots of different neighborhoods and cultures. With a large number of colleges and universities in a small area, we are able to find local talent with Bachelors and Master degrees on up to PhD and MD degrees. Although we are a scientifically based company we also hire folks with accounting, finance, IS/IT, marketing and market research, legal and HR backgrounds. Over the last 18 months, we have relocated 110 people to Vertex from all around the US and overseas. The majority of these relocating employees (62%) came from NJ, PA, CA, NY and CT.

Why does the Boston area stand apart as a place to work?

Boston is a smaller city, rich with history, and bursting with innovative ideas. There are a large number of start-ups formed from seed money from investors who fund an innovative scientific idea and build a company from it. That’s how Vertex started back in 1989. If you’re looking for cutting-edge scientific research, this area is a great place to start your career, advance your career and even finish out your career. Scientific companies are always hiring in this area.

Why should people want to move here?

  • The amount of scientific knowledge in the Cambridge and Boston area – the number of different start-up biotech/pharma/biopharma companies
  • Great state schools with scientific degree programs (UMass system)
  • Communities with some fantastic school systems
  • Historical significance of Boston as part of the birth and development of the US
  • Cultural diversity and acceptance of same
  • Close to the ocean, to Cape Cod, the mountains in Western Mass and ski country up north, the big cities (NYC) – all within a few hours driving distance
  • Cambridge and Boston are becoming more and more ‘green’

Employees want to be able to make a move that is seamless, so that they can focus on the new job. We try to help make that transition as easy as possible.

When and why are you moving to the Innovation District?

Our new headquarters in the Innovation District is just now being built and we hope to start moving our employees there at the end of 2013. We needed to find space where we could house all of our employees in one area and we chose this area as an up and coming part of Boston with close proximity to highways, public transport and the airport.
Lisa exudes positive energy while talking about the culture of Vertex, its new direction, success and growth. Thank you Lisa, for sharing your thoughts on where Vertex is headed in Boston and around the world. Innovation and opportunity abound in the bean!

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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