Indiana’s legacy of building products is fueling the state’s economic recovery, according to the 2012 Indiana Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card, a partnership between Conexus Indiana and the Ball State Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER).
Inside INdiana Business reported that the study shows Indiana, home to the RV industry’s manufacturing hub in Elkhart County, has the most manufacturing-intensive economy in the nation and ranks highest in manufacturing employment per capita. However, the fifth annual study echoes the same concern of previous report cards – Indiana must address human capital to ensure the health of two industries that collectively employ nearly one of every four Hoosiers.
“Everybody knows that manufacturing has done pretty well in Indiana; you don’t have to be an economist, you just have to read our job creation numbers over the past year or 18 months,” says CBER Director Michael Hicks, who authored the study. “This has been a very good time for manufacturing recovery in Indiana; the score card reflects the state still in a very high position nationally with respect to the overall strength of its manufacturing and logistics sectors.”
The report card, which compares Indiana to all other states, gave the Hoosier state the highest grade possible in manufacturing and logistics industry health, tax climate and global position.
“Hoosiers are doing very well competing in the global economy,” says Chris Watts, vice president of communications and research for Conexus Indiana, the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative. “We’re in the top ten in manufacturing exports per capita and number one in income derived from foreign owned manufacturers, so that shows we’re continuing our hot streak in attracting foreign direct investment.”
Not the state’s lowest grade – but perhaps of greatest concern– is the C- in human capital, a slight dip from C in 2011. The score is attributable to low rankings in adult population with a high school diploma, associate’s degrees per capita and adults with a four-year college degree. The Hoosier work force is of even greater concern as baby boomers near retirement age.