What Makes BioMidwest a Great Place to Live?

Midwest Chicago

The Midwestern region of the United States is often referred to as “flyover country” by residents of both coasts as a way to diminish or dismiss the importance of the states that make up this part of the nation. But the Midwest can be a great place to live and raise a family.

That view of “flyover country” is poorly constructed once the massive advantages of the Midwestern states are revealed. And those revelations of the benefits found in the Midwest are important to highlight for potential job seekers in the pharma and biotech industries. Known as the BioMidwest Hotbed here at BioSpace, there are multiple states that make up the region. BioMidwest includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin. At first glance, people even remotely familiar with the United States might wonder why people might dismiss these states, given their importance in the national economy. However, the perception remains. BioSpace will point out several reasons why job seekers might want to put the BioMidwest Hotbed on their radar for job searches.

First, the number of companies calling the Midwest home is impressive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are nearly 30,000 life science companies in the Midwestern states. AbbVie, Eli Lilly and Company, AveXis (a Novartis Company), Abbott, BioMotiv, Pelotonia, Millendo Therapeutics and more all make their homes in the Midwestern states. With the sheer number of companies that have a presence in the region, it’s easy to see why there are a plethora of job opportunities. And compensation is pretty good too. BLS data shows the average annual salary of life science employees in the Midwest is $145,731. That number could change if calls for public and private support of a “Bio Belt” come to be. The idea is for the creation of a hotbed that stretches across the middle of America “bring new skills and high-paying jobs to communities that desperately need them.” Biotechnology investments that would focus on things like biofuels and other products that would bolster local economies that have missed out on recent growth due to a myriad of issues.

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Not only are there plenty of jobs in the Midwest, but there are also a plethora of bonuses that will make like in these states pretty enjoyable.

First, looking at the states that make up the BioMidwest Hotbed, the institutes of higher learning located throughout the region are evident. Well known colleges and universities such as Notre Dame, The Ohio State, Northwestern University, University of Illinois, Chicago University, University of Michigan and more not only provide a wide option for higher learning, the schools also play an integral role in pharma, biotech and medical research. Many companies have partnered with universities to conduct early-stage research. The research success and growth of those universities trickles down into the public education systems of these states, providing strong school systems that attract new residents.

Not only does the region have a strong higher learning base, but there are also other appealing factors. Sports fans will appreciate the volume of professional and amateur teams to support, College and professional teams abound in the states that make up the Midwest and fandom creates tight bonds between people – as well as good-natured rivalries.

In addition to watching sports, the Midwest offers countless numbers of recreational activities for residents. Fishing, swimming, boating, golf, hunting, skiing, hiking, cycling and more are options throughout the year.

Another attraction for job seekers is the affordability of housing in the Midwest. A recent U.S. News and World Report shows that many Midwestern states are among the least expensive to live in. Missouri, Nebraska, Michigan, Oklahoma, Indiana and Iowa are all in the top 10 of the most affordable states, according to the report. The majority of the Midwestern states are also ranked high for cost of living, according to World Population View’s annual index. The nation’s two biggest biotech hubs in Massachusetts and California come in among the lowest states for the cost of living.

Maybe one of the best things about the Midwest is an intangible reason – a slower pace of life. While there can still be plenty of hustle and bustle, particularly in major cities like Chicago and Indianapolis, the Midwest seems slower than places like New York or San Francisco. There is a strong push for work-life balance in the Midwest. In a report on the benefits of living in the Midwest, Business Insider pointed to that work-life balance as a positive. While noting that Midwesterners work as hard as people in Silicon Valley, BI noted that folks in flyover country knew when to slow down and enjoy life.

So job seekers would be wise to pay careful attention to the benefits of BioMidwest when planning to submit those resumes.

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