Last week I went on a media tour of Northeast Indiana, where I traveled from Fort Wayne to South Bend, visiting established companies as well as start-ups in the industry. To outsiders, Indiana is most well known for its focus on orthopaedic device manufacturing in Warsaw, which is clearly alive and well. However, Northeast Indiana (comprised of 10 counties that do not include Kosciusko County, where Warsaw is located) is also home to a medical device manufacturing community of more than 40 companies that are responsible for creating 2600+ jobs, according to the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
. Within the region, employment in the medical equipment and supplies category has more than doubled—growing 135%—in the past ten years.
Earlier in the year, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and OrthoWorx
, an organization dedicated to keeping Warsaw the capital of orthopaedics manufacturing, formed a partnership to focus on education, attracting and retaining talent, and transportation. Among the multicounty-wide efforts of the groups include working with the state’s Ivy Tech Community Colleges through the Advanced Manufacturing Program to foster student skills in areas that serve the medical manufacturing industry.
One of the strongest takeaways from my trip was seeing not only the collaborative effort between these regions (where there was previously some strong competition) but the pride these companies have in medical device manufacturing, and most importantly, keeping jobs local.
Maria Fontanazza is managing editor at UBM Canon. Follow her on Twitter @MariaFontanazza.