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Snapshot: Allergan

Name: David E.I. Pyott
Title: President and CEO
Company: Allergan, Inc.
Location: Irvine, CA
Social Media: @allergan
Year Founded: 1948
Number of Employees: Approximately 10,500
Description: Allergan is a global, multi-specialty health care company. Originally founded as an eye care company more than 60 years ago, today Allergan is focused on several medical specialties, including eye care, neurosciences, medical aesthetics, medical dermatology, breast aesthetics, obesity intervention, and urologics.

What is your general perception of the workforce in California?

Allergan has certainly benefitted from a talented California workforce. We have been able to identify and attract many great employees who become very committed members of our community. However, it has been a challenge to identify and attract a sufficient number of scientific and technically skilled employees from within the California workforce. Often, we have to expand our search beyond the state to meet our employment needs.

What types of skills do you think are most needed for the California life science industry?

In order to remain competitive, we need to focus on enhancing skills in the areas of clinical research and development, regulatory affairs, and quality affairs. In addition, we will always need employees with strong basic research skills.

What skills do you see as lacking or needing improvement?

In terms of our future workforce, we need to ensure that students who are educated through our state schools have a strong background in math and science. In terms of our current workforce, we need to improve our expertise in areas such as clinical research and development, regulatory affairs and quality affairs.

Why California?

California is our home. Allergan was founded in California more than 60 years ago. We want to stay here but we also want to build for the future growth of our company. California needs to recognize that other states make it easier than California to do business – at a more reasonable cost.

What does California do well to support a skilled workforce?

From an overall perspective, California is less “business friendly” than many other states in which we operate. The cost of living, especially housing, makes relocation to California difficult, or not possible, for many potential new employees. The public education infrastructure also deters recruits with families and does not produce graduates with the math and science expertise we require. In addition, the increasing tax burden is not attractive to Allergan or to our existing employees, and it is certainly a deterrent to prospective employees.

What could California do better to support a skilled workforce?

The California public education system needs to make a commitment to provide students with a strong basic education in math and science. We also need to look beyond specific science and math needs and develop a skilled manufacturing labor force.

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