Report: American Manufacturing is Still Alive and Well

According to a report from Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) and Conexus Indiana, the American manufacturing industry is hardly in the downward spiral that some have projected — and they anticipate openings for new manufacturing jobs will range from 80,000 to 150,000 per year over the next 10 years.

“There are major misunderstandings among the public and the media about the manufacturing sector,” said Michael Hicks, director of CBER and the George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Economics at Ball State. “The U.S. manufacturing base is not in decline, and we have recovered from the recession. Nor are jobs being outsourced because American manufacturing can’t compete internationally. Moreover, new jobs in manufacturing pay well above the average wage.”

The study notes that the Great Recession had lost its stranglehold by 2014, when U.S. manufacturers attained record levels of production.

“Changes in productivity, domestic demand and foreign trade all impact manufacturing employment in the U.S.,” Hicks said, “and it’s important to clarify those impacts in order to understand what is happening in the manufacturing and logistics industries.”

The study also found that:
• More than 87 percent of manufacturing job losses are due to productivity gains, including better supply chains, more capital investment and advanced technology.
• Only 4 percent of manufacturing jobs have been lost to international trade (also known as outsourcing) since 2000.
• Since the end of the Great Recession in 2009, the economy has added 750,000 manufacturing jobs.
• The biggest job losses occurred in low productivity sectors with low transportation costs.

The report points out baby boom generation retirees are leaving behind good, well-paying jobs in those sectors, and younger workers are filling those jobs at an unprecedented rate. Recent new hire salaries averaged $20.06 per hour — almost $42,000 a year. As millennials move into the workforce, wage gaps between new and existing jobs are primarily age- and tenure-related, he said.

The report, “The Myth and the Reality of Manufacturing in America,” and the individual state report cards may be found online.

Transportation’s Future Focus of Summit

08Solving the National Transportation Crisis is the theme of the 12th annual Indiana Logistics Summit. More than 300 participants are expected from the transportation, logistics, distribution and manufacturing industries.

Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith are among the speakers. Innovator Lawrence Burns, who spent 40 years with General Motors, will deliver a presentation on The Future of Transportation.

Purdue University, Conexus Indiana and the Ports of Indiana are the hosts for the Oct. 7-8 event at the Indiana Convention Center. Learn more and register.

Don’t Miss the Upcoming Logistics Summit in Indy

We get it: Logistics is a big deal in Indiana. And it’s much more than the “Crossroads of America” moniker.

Logistics plays a key role in several goals within Indiana Vision 2025, the Indiana Chamber’s long-range economic development action plan. The sector employs more than 300,000 people across the state.

Help take logistics to the next level by participating in the 11th Annual Indiana Logistics Summit on October 9-10, co-hosted by Ports of Indiana, Purdue University and Conexus Indiana.

"Asia to Indiana Nonstop" will feature insights from Gov. Pence and state business leaders with a focus on the new intermodal service that could reduce supply chains by a week (BizVoice magazine introduced this initiative earlier this year). Highlights include education sessions (learn strategies to reduce your supply chain costs and more), networking opportunities and an expo.

The event will take place at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. Learn more and register at www.indianalogistics.com.

Solving the Procurement Puzzle

It’s such a big, lumbering word for what should be a straightforward process. Procurement is the 11-letter moniker for what I like to call bringing buyers and sellers together. Or simply doing business. And now a new ePortal — Indiana Supplier INsight — is in place to make the job easier for Hoosier companies.

Launched by Conexus Indiana, the powerful but easy-to-use (and free) system encourages Indiana companies to do business with other firms within the state. Businesses create searchable online profiles, while others provide detailed listings of supplier needs. The technology helps do the rest. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

"Manufacturers look at suppliers all over the country, often unaware of qualified firms right here in their own backyard," says Steve Dwyer, president and CEO of Conexus Indiana. "This initiative shines a light on these companies and helps them forge new relationships."

Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar adds, "We welcome the opportunity to provide our members with this ability to connect with fellow Hoosier businesses, benefiting both organizations and the Indiana economy. The need for such a service was evident in the Chamber’s recent work studying Indiana mid-market companies and their potential for additional growth."

Companies ready to take advantage of this system can connect online or e-mail Lisa Laughner ([email protected]), program director at Conexus Indiana. The Indiana Chamber, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Secretary of State’s office and Indiana Department of Administration are supporting the initiative.

Those interesting in sponsorships on the Indiana Supplier INsight portal — reaching thousands of Indiana companies and their key personnel — should contact the Chamber’s Jim Wagner ([email protected]).   

Conexus Round Tables Bring Economic Issues to Fore

Conexus Indiana is hosting a series of round tables throughout the state this fall to address some of the key issues facing Indiana. The goal of each discussion will be to examine and brainstorm with professional experts in order to learn how Indiana can become a logistical stronghold in the various industries that impact different parts of the state.

"It’s a chance to provide insight on the infrastructure needs, policy challenges and workforce gaps that must be tackled to put Indiana on the map as a global logistics hub," says spokesman Luke LaBeau.

Here is the upcoming schedule, with each round table discussing issues that impact the corresponding area of the state. For more information, call the listed contact:

Sept. 25 – Portage, 4-6 p.m. EST
Northwest Indiana Forum Auditorium
Contact: Karen Lauerman – (219) 763-6303 ext. 181

Oct. 2 – Fort Wayne, 3-5 p.m. EST
Summit Club
Contact: Kathleen Randolph – (260) 459-1400 ext. 4502

Oct. 10 – Muncie, 9-11 a.m. EST
Ball State Alumni Center
Contact: Roy Bud – (765) 254-1420

Oct. 14 – Evansville, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. EST
Ivy Tech
Contact: Greg Wathen – (812) 423-2020

Nov. 14 – Plainfield, 9-11 a.m. EST
Brightpoint
Contact: Joyce Zwierlein – (317) 707-2382

Nov. 19 – Notre Dame, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. EST
Center for Continuing Education
Contact: Robert Bernhard – (574) 631-1862

Conexus: Indiana Chamber is Right, Privatize Lottery

Carol D’Amico of Conexus Indiana has a guest post on the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) blog today supporting our latest Letters to Our Leaders offering, which suggests privatizing the lottery to fund needed workforce development programs in the state.

D’Amico writes:

Such a new revenue source could provide the funds necessary to help move more young people into the higher education pipeline, building our future workforce, as well as addressing the critical need to retrain our incumbent workers.

Some worry that private management of the Lottery is tantamount to a further expansion of gambling. Under the legislation considered last session, at least, the private manager was specifically prohibited from expanding the menu of lottery games. It should also be noted that Hoosiers spend less on our lottery than the average American.  We rank 26th among the 41 states with lotteries in per capita spending ($118 per person).  All adjacent states rank higher in lottery spending, from $135 per person in Illinois to $195 in Michigan…new management would certainly be incentivized to market the lottery aggressively, but it’s unlikely to turn Hoosiers into a pack of gambling addicts.