ndiana's life sciences sector experienced a robust 2010 with companies committing to create more than 4,000 jobs, the highest annual figure in several years. Twenty companies plan investments of more than US$570 million, according to a report by the state's BioCrossroads organization, which promotes the sector.
One of Indiana's strengths is in orthopedics, and two companies serving that sector announced expansions as 2010 drew to a close.
Iotron Industries Canada, a provider of contract sterilization services to the medical and other industries, and materials modification in the production of orthopedic products, plans to establish a new operation near Columbia City creating up to 20 jobs by 2012. The company, headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, says it will invest more than $15.3 million to build a 54,000-sq.-ft. (5,016-sq.-m.) electron beam treatment facility in the Park 30 Business Center, a shovel-ready park.
The Canada-based company's electron-beam treatment process serves medical products and products used in the agribusiness industry. In addition, the company's technology is used for such advanced applications as composite curing in the defense and manufacturing industries.
"The selection of Indiana for our expansion facility represented the culmination of more than two years of intensely exploring and considering sites across the United States for a possible location," said Lloyd Scott, president of Iotron. "We believe we have now secured a highly competitive position that will benefit both Iotron and the Indiana region in the short- and long-term."
Iotron expects to break ground on the new Iotron Industries USA facility in early 2011, with major construction to be completed by late 2011. The company's hiring will begin in January 2011 to begin training selected Indiana-based employees in specialized electron-beam processing methods at Iotron's Canadian facilities before the Columbia City facility is operational.
"While the Warsaw region is already recognized as the orthopedic capital of the world, the addition of a sterilization facility in the region adds a key component to the existing value chain of our orthopedics industry," said Brad Bishop, executive director of OrthoWorx, a Warsaw-based organization that promotes the orthopedics device sector. "Iotron's location of a sterilization facility in northern Indiana adds an important capability to the cluster, as well as adding new high-tech jobs for residents in our region."
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) offered Iotron up to $200,000 in performance-based tax credits based on the company's job-creation plans. Whitley County worked with three other counties to aggregate $7 million in Recovery Zone Facility Bonds, as well as other local incentives at the request of the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation.
Medical device manufacturer L.H. Medical Corporation is expanding production operations in Fort Wayne with plans to create up to 65 new jobs by 2013, doubling its current work force. The company, which was established in 2007, will invest $5.4 million in the expansion. A division of L.H. Industries, which was established as a tool and die shop in 1966, L.H. Medical specializes in custom medical device components for the orthopedic industry.
"Increase in business from new accounts and new product launches have called for the need for additional space, equipment and employees," said Bruce Emerick, president and chief executive officer of L.H. Industries. "Expanding in Allen County allows us to fulfill all of these requirements and gives us the opportunity to pursue continued growth."
In addition to L.H. Medical, L.H. Industries has multiple divisions including L.H. Carbide, L.H. Controls and L.H. Stamping which collectively employ 235 workers across multiple Indiana sites. L.H. Medical will begin hiring precision manufacturing associates and engineers early next year once the move to the new facility is complete.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered L.H. Medical up to $550,000 in performance-based tax credits and up to $60,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans.