While many states bemoan the loss of manufacturing jobs, Indiana has increased employment in the sector by 4.6% since the recession. These jobs appeal to employees as they pay 50% more than non-manufacturing jobs, and they bolster the economy as they produce one-third of the state's revenue.
From a national perspective, Indiana ranks No. 1 in the U.S. with regard to direct manufacturing as a percentage of total employment.
Cummins Inc. (IW500/64), a manufacturer of diesel engines, is an important contributor to employment growth. In the past two years the company has announced two expansions creating 950 new jobs.
By 2015 another 290 new jobs will be added with the addition of a large engine platform at its Seymour plant.
To bolster the workforce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Cummins training incentives, a contributing factor in a $219 million plant expansion. "The support will ensure the availability of a skilled workforce for many years to come," says Rich Feeland, president of the company's engine business.
Growth also is coming from Indiana's robust auto sector where more than one of every 10 cars produced in the U.S. is assembled. The sector employs 120,000 workers across 600 companies and contributes nearly $9 billion.
"It's an exciting time to be engaged in Indiana's auto industry," notes Jeffrey Owens, president of Delphi Electronics and Safety. "We've established ourselves as a leader in vehicle electrification, the state is attracting record levels of foreign investment, and the domestic auto industry is making a significant comeback as well."