...Ampac Fine Chemicals recently quadrupled its analytical chemistry capacity, adding 1,200 m2 of laboratory space at a facility near El Dorado Hills, Calif. The contract manufacturer also brought in new technology, including X-ray powder diffraction, particle-size distribution, and dissolution testing capabilities, along with 10 liquid chromatography units.
The firm has added 20 analytical chemists with the expansion, according to Chief Executive Officer Aslam Malik, and will likely hire as many more over the next 18 months.
The hiring stems from an increased need to analyze the complex chemistry of new drugs, Malik says, plus a general concern among customers about data integrity. “We are looking more closely at the genotoxic impurities and doing heavy-metal analyses,” he says. Meanwhile, measurement instrumentation has advanced from “prehistoric” methods to cutting-edge technology, raising the skill level required of chemists and the stakes for Ampac in staffing.
“It’s always tough to find good chemists, but more so on the analytical side,” Malik says. “The market is tight.”
One advantage for Ampac, Malik says, is that the company is a primary employer of pharmaceutical analytical chemists in the Sacramento area. “When people get done in school here, they want to hang around. So we have been lucky. Still, finding very technically qualified people is tough.”...The whole article is worth a read, if only to hear how industrial folks think about this problem and how academic folks think about it as well.
That last statement seems to be "we do not have a competitor in town to poach chemists from", which I can't get very worked up about. It seems to me that between UC-Davis and CSU-Sacramento, they could get all the fresh new college grads that they could want. Maybe I'm wrong, but it would seem that they could poach plenty of folks from the Bay Area in terms of getting folks with more experience? I dunno.