By Jennifer Pearl, Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC)
How do you develop a workforce that creates life-saving pharmaceuticals right here in Bloomington?
Baxter BioPharma Solutions (BPS), Indiana University, and the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) have partnered to address this question through a new initiative to connect IU students with BPS for career opportunities.
BPS partners with pharmaceutical companies to support their commercialization objectives by providing scientific expertise, sterile contract manufacturing solutions, parenteral (injectable) delivery systems, and customized support services needed to meet the unique challenges that parenteral products face.
Over 900 people currently work at BPS’ facility in Bloomington. BPS is hiring for roles in Bloomington, with a range of opportunities within business functions like program management and finance, IT, scientific lab work, quality operations, and manufacturing.
Baxter recently signed a definitive agreement to divest the BPS business to the global private equity firms Advent International and Warburg Pincus, who will jointly own the business. With the proposed transaction, BPS will partner with Advent and Warburg Pincus to invest in new capabilities and capacity, foster world-class talent, and work to further accelerate growth.
IU’s students have potential opportunities to work with BPS, and the university has strong resources for building a needed talent pipeline. But what is needed are deeper connections and greater awareness of opportunities at BPS among IU students, plus the faculty and staff that help guide their career paths.
To address these needs, BPS participates in an annual life sciences industry reception for IU students hosted by the BEDC and the Center for the Business of Life Sciences at the Kelley School of Business. In the spring of 2023, the three partners launched a series of workforce tours for students, faculty, and staff in business and the sciences in collaboration with the IU College of Arts and Sciences.
As of July 2023, over 100 IU students, faculty, and staff have taken part in the year’s activities involving BPS. But we are not stopping there. The partners have begun brainstorming ways to build more formal talent pipelines. Ultimately, we hope to expand these efforts to include other educational partners and talent from across the community. In the long run, the BEDC aims to replicate these efforts with other companies, partners, and industries.
Our gratitude goes to the BPS leadership and human resources, IU’s Center for the Business of Life Sciences, and our growing list of collaborators in the IU College of Arts & Sciences. Here’s to building a local workforce to improve the lives of patients around the world.