IBJNews

State manufacturing, logistics sectors score high marks

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indiana’s manufacturing and logistics sectors are emerging from the economic downturn in solid shape, demonstrated by the “A” grades they both scored in the latest industry report card compiled by Ball State University economists.

The findings are part of a report released by Conexus Indiana, an industry group that promotes the state as part of Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.

A panel of experts, including Ball State Bureau of Business Research director Michael Hicks, discussed the results Friday morning during a manufacturing and logistics conference presented by Conexus and IBJ at The Conrad hotel downtown.

Indiana’s manufacturing employment has risen by 4.6 percent during the past year, while it’s dropped 2 percent nationwide, enabling the sector to repeat its “A” grade.

The state’s logistics industry improved from a “B+” to an “A,” marking a first for logistics in the four-year existence of the report card. The improvement was based on stronger infrastructure investment compared to other states, the report said.

“The decline in manufacturing is not merely overstated but misstated,” Hicks said. “Manufacturing firms are turning back to hiring in Indiana.”

Hicks pointed to a Friday afternoon announcement by Cummins Inc. as evidence. The Columbus-based engine maker said it planned to add 600 employees in a new office building in downtown Columbus, where it is headquartered.

The development is the third expansion in southern Indiana announced by Cummins in the past year. Once the new building is filled, in 2013, Cummins will employ nearly 3,000 workers in a two-block area of downtown Columbus, three times its local presence in 2008.

Also in Columbus, a $13.5 million center aimed at training workers to fill manufacturing jobs that are growing steadily more complex opened on Friday.

Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus will use the facility for its new bachelor's of science in mechanical engineering degree program. Purdue's College of Technology and Ivy Tech Community College will also offer a number of engineering, technology, and related courses in the facility.

The center could help improve the “C” grade BSU economists gave to the state’s work force, which they say is not prepared enough to meet the demands of the more complex manufacturing jobs.

“One in four jobs in this state is tied to manufacturing and logistics,” said Conexus CEO Steve Dwyer, who emphasized that more educational opportunities should be made available for Indiana workers who don't pursue a four-year college degree.

Roughly 200,000 people will enroll in Ivy Tech courses this year, including 88,000 who will take some classes online, said Susan Brooks, the college’s general counsel and a panelist at the Friday Conexus event.

She said Ivy Tech is increasing partnerships with employers to better educate workers.

“On the other side, we need employers to step up and push these adults to get that certification, or associate degree,” she said.

Indiana also scored “A” grades in Global Reach and Tax Climate categories, even before recent legislation that will improve the state’s corporate tax rate, Hicks said.

Legislators in the past session voted to incrementally reduce the corporate tax rate from the current 8.5 percent to 6.5 percent in 2015.

Besides Human Capital, other categories in which Indiana scored in the “C” range were Benefit Costs, Productivity and Innovation, Diversification, and Venture Capital.

Indiana received no “D” or failing grades.


 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

ADVERTISEMENT