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IN Budget surplus leads to OrthoWorx windfall

May 18, 2023

OrthoWorx, a nonprofit organization established in 2009 to advance Indiana’s orthopedics industry in Kosciusko County, received a $30 million appropriation from Indiana’s new two-year budget. Kosciusko County, home to companies that represent about half of the $60 billion global market for total joint replacements, is considered the orthopedic capital of the world. In 2022, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership estimated the industry accounts for more than 22,000 jobs in the region and approximately $19 billion in revenue.

Bob Vitoux, CEO of OrthoWorks, told the Indiana Capital Chronicle that the region needs to advance some of its community amenities and offerings to help attract new talent. Adding amenities is particularly critical currently when many workers opt for remote opportunities. New amenities could include improvements to education, housing, and childcare. Vitoux expects to have a more concrete plan for allocating the $30 million later this year. 

The appropriation is one of several earmarks in Indiana’s state budget, where earmarks climbed to $536 million—up from just $18 million in 2015. House Speaker Todd Huston told the Indiana Capital Chronicleearmarks were "one-time opportunities," and Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Lizton, told the newspaper that the one-time spending was possible because of unexpected revenue increases in 2021 and 2022.