History: Indiana Center for the Life Sciences

The Bloomington area has long been an important region for life sciences companies. Cook Medical was formed in 1963 and companies such as Baxter, Boston Scientific, and other firms have located facilities in the region since then, providing thousands of jobs to regional residents. As traditional manufacturing facilities have reduced in number over the past 20 years, the importance of life sciences has risen to the forefront of the local economy.

Due to this shift, the need for a more educated and trained workforce in the demanding life sciences industry has increased. Growth in the life sciences industry has led to an increase of 1,850 area jobs over the past five years. A survey conducted by the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation in 2012 projects an additional 1,200 to 1,400 new jobs will be created over the next five years.

To meet the increasingly demanding needs of life sciences employers, Ivy Tech - Bloomington devised its role as a leader in the development of preparations to meet the current and future workforce challenges in the life sciences. Monroe County Government and Ivy Tech - Bloomington developed a partnership to create the Indiana Center for the Life Sciences. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development awarded a $1.8 million grant to the Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership and a $1.2 million grant was awarded to Ivy Tech - Bloomington for the creation and delivery of programs addressing workforce preparation for life sciences careers.

The Indiana Center for the Life Sciences opened in 2009 and houses Ivy Tech biotechnology classrooms and offices. There are four state-of-the-art wet labs and a 5,000 square foot manufacturing suite available for training purposes.