INDIANAPOLIS - Roche Diagnostics Corp. in Indianapolis, the University of Indianapolis and Ascend Indiana have announced a collaboration designed to fill high-need technical jobs at the biotechnology company. The Roche Academy will include customized curriculum and internships for UIndy biology and chemistry students which could lead to job offers from the company upon graduation. Recruiting efforts for the program are expected to begin in October and, once students complete training, they could start working as biomedical equipment technicians at Roche in 2020.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Roche Diagnostics Vice President of Human Resources Bridget Boyle said students, the company and the region benefit.

Up to 25 technicians are expected to complete the training and work at the company each year. Roche Diagnostics Chief Executive Officer Jack Phillips says "we have to think differently and more creatively as a company to attract highly skilled talent. Through this unique talent initiative, and our partnership with two outstanding community organizations, we will be able to fulfill our employment needs for these positions which are critical to our business."

The program will also include financial and educational incentives for participants. Officials say the partnership will help attract students to UIndy, while helping better align its curricula with workforce needs. "Partnerships like Roche Academy show how we can develop regional economic advantages, keep higher education connected to the community and help companies meet areas of critical need," UIndy President Robert Manuel said. "These partnerships form the DNA of the University of Indianapolis by providing our students with distinctive experiences at dynamic organizations and preparing them for careers in today's complex world."

Roche Diagnostics currently employs 4,000 at its North American headquarters in the northern end of Marion County.

Ascend Indiana, which is an initiative of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, was launched in 2016 to boost workforce development efforts throughout the region. In June, it received $2.4 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. and the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust to support a cloud-based talent-matching platform. Chief Executive Officer Jason Kloth says "our supply of skilled workers is not meeting the demand and available talent is often not connecting efficiently with employers who need them. Through our Ascend Services work, employers like Roche are able to create custom talent pipeline programs that provide a shared value for the company, the educational institution, students and the broader community."

View more about the program from a video released by UIndy: