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SES404 - Creating the Workforce of the Future


‐ Jan 30, 2024 11:45am

Eli Lilly and Company is embarking on a journey of rapid expansion in building 5 new facilities across the globe. This creates a challenge in also rapidly building a highly technical workforce. Eli Lilly and Company has signed partnerships with two community colleges (Wake Tech- North Carolina, Ivy Tech- Indiana) to address the needs of a strong hourly workforce that is trained to hit the ground running on highly complex/high speed pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment.

Wake Tech Community College has developed an excellent program that has been running for over a decade which has had great success and Lilly has partnered to help deliver the highly capable workforce of the future in North Carolina. Also, In April 2023, Eli Lilly and Company announced a $15 million Lilly Scholars program in partnership with Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana to build a similar program as well as providing scholarships for underserved communities. Thus, setting the stage for the future of workforce development in Indiana. Lilly’s goal is to continue to extend our reach into surrounding communities by investing in strong collaborations which will grow life sciences education as well as foster a diverse pipeline of talent in the state of Indiana. Wake Tech is North Carolina's largest community college, serving about 64,000 adults annually, with seven campuses, two training centers, multiple community sites and a comprehensive array of online learning options. Wake Tech is accredited and offers more than 250 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs that prepare students for university transfer or immediate employment. Wake Tech also serves high school students at the Wake Early College of Health and Sciences, the Wake Early College of Information and Biotechnologies, Vernon Malone College and Career Academy and North Wake College and Career Academy, in partnership with the Wake County Public School System. Over the past three years, Wake Tech has developed a multi-channeled pipeline of talent ready to work in the biopharmaceutical industry.  Students enroll in short-term certificates, high school programs and apprenticeships, and are trained in simulated drug manufacturing environments in the Research Triangle Park area.

Ivy Tech Community College, is the nation’s largest community college and as a singly accredited institution with 19 campuses and 43 sites, is Indiana’s community college. Ivy Tech and Eli Lilly and Company established a formal partnership agreement in the spring of 2023. Designed to co-create a talent pipeline, the agreement includes 100% paid scholarships for 1,000 “Lilly Scholars” for adults and high school students; the development of a curriculum aligned to the needs of pharmaceutical manufacturing; the creation of work-based learning opportunities for students and expansion of apprenticeships; and two new, co-branded laboratory facilities. Ivy Tech seeks to learn best practices from Wake Tech’s established program to best serve the needs of Lilly and the needs of the Indiana.