INDIANA — Almost $2 billion in investments by companies to overhaul production facilities or expand corporate footprints is a tend economic experts are saying puts Indiana at the forefront of states with manufacturing-heavy economies.
Indiana leads the nation in manufacturing employment with almost 17 percent of the state workforce being employed by manufacturers. Over 30 percent of the state’s gross product is manufacturing, placing the state ahead of all others. The state’s long tradition of manufacturing and its business climate is making it one of the most viable states for production, according to Chad Moutray, chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers. He stated Indiana has thrived since the Great Recession.
Rolls-Royce, Subaru and General Motors are among those who are responsible for the manufacturing-heavy economy.
Rolls-Royce looked at the experience of the workforce, the desire to put customers first and support from elected leaders in their consideration of investing for the future. The company invested $600 million in the state and employs 4,000 in Indianapolis — 1,050 are in production and $1,400 are engineers.
Cummins Inc., decision to stay in Indiana made financial and social sense to the company. Cummins employs about 9,000 across the state and is opening a $70 million technical center in Seymour along with constructing a global distribution business headquarters downtown Indianapolis. Company officials says the transportation infrastructure is in the heart of the midwest, in Indiana. Cummins is home to 100-plus trucking companies.
Offering a skilled manufacturing workforce is also a plus and a boon for businesses.
It is the workers in the state what have made a difference for Allison Transmission, whose history is tied to the founding of the Indianapolis Speedway Team Co., in 1915. Noting the skill sets learned by high school and community college students across the state and the certifications to qualify them for high-paying manufacturing jobs make them eligible for jobs offered at Allison Transmission.
Toyota announced the hiring of 180 people by the end of the year after pumping $100 million into its southern Indiana assembly plant. The company has spent $4.2 billion on its Indiana facility to date.
Indiana’s manufacturing jobs dipped to 425,000 in 2008, but the sector gained almost 100,000 jubs since then. That number was at 520,000 in September. Michael Hicks, economic expert at Ball State University, says Indiana is one of the most robust manufacturing states int he country.
Indiana is among the top tier of U.S. manufacturers and it should be poised to do well in the coming years, despite the fluctuations in global markets.
Source: ‘The Agurban,” an Agracel publication