DC daily roundup: Top-ranking life sciences talent; new police drones; Amazon’s new $1.4B pledge

Plus an industrial hub's 137 years of boom and bust.


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The rise and fall of Sparrows Point

Long before Baltimore’s recent devastating infrastructural disaster, the area used to be a bustling manufacturing site. Originally developed as a hub for steelmaking,  years later, Bethlehem Steel acquired the mill and steelyard at what we now call Sparrows Point.

After more than a century with thousands of jobs and projects, the company declared bankruptcy in 2001 and eventually ceased operations in 2012. In recent years, former Bethlehem Steel employees have filed lawsuits against companies that supplied asbestos to the former shipyard, claiming the exposure made them sick.

There’s so much more to the story, too, including the opening of a greenhouse and an Amazon facility in recent years. And it doesn’t end there.

➡️ Read more about its history here.

DMV scores big life sciences talent marks

In addition to a third-place ranking for life sciences R&D talent, the DC region (combined with Baltimore) is the country’s ninth and eleventh best for life sciences manufacturing and medtech talent, respectively.

Those figures come from CBRE’s 2024 U.S. Life Sciences Talent Trends report, which evaluates the field’s talent and employment stats based on different degree holders and the concentration of jobs.

➡️ Check out the report here.

News Incubator: What else to know today

• DC government leaders announced a new drone program for the city’s police department, along with an updated helicopter. Mayor Muriel Bowser also attended an international business conference on Monday to promote DC’s Global Soft Landing initiative, which aims to attract international entrepreneurs to the city. [Mayor’s Office]

• Amazon pledged an additional $1.4 billion funding commitment for its Housing Equity Fund, which works to allocate low-interest loans and grants in three main areas where the giant operates, including the DC region. The fund has received mixed reactions concerning its efficiency. [Bloomberg]

• The minimum wage is set to increase in DC and Montgomery County on July 1, to $17.50 and $17.15, respectively. [WJLA]

• ICYMI: TikTok attorneys filed a court brief last week arguing that banning the app is unconstitutional. [Washington Post]

• The DC coffee chain Compass Coffee is accused of hiring more than 100 new employees, including food service executives, to bring down a union election scheduled for July. [Guardian]

🗓️ On the Calendar

• DC Tech Studio is hosting a demo day for its inaugural cohort on June 27. [Details here]

• The Founder Institute is hosting a networking event for early-stage founders on June 27 in DC. Representatives from organizations including the Small Business Administration and SOAR Community Network will be in attendance. [Details here]

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