Why We Love Manufacturing Day

N“Every dollar spent in manufacturing generates $1.32 for the economy.” – U.S. Chamber

Friday, October 3 was National Manufacturing Day (MFG Day), a celebration of an industry often taken for granted in the U.S., an industry that is struggling to find talent, and an industry that has a significant economic impact on Indiana, the nation and the world.

MFG Day addresses common misperceptions about the industry by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. There were 1,647 MFG Day events throughout the U.S. and Canada (even Puerto Rico!) and some that will continue through October, November and December.

There were 71 events in Indiana alone in every region of the state. 3D Parts Manufacturing, LLC in Indianapolis showed guests 3D printing in action. Amatrol in Jeffersonville offered five tours of their facility. Blackford High School students in Huntington had the opportunity to tour Mayco International, Reflective Industries and Tru-Form Steel and Wire. Caltherm partnered with Columbus North High School for presentations and a facility tour, then allowed freshman to create academic plans with assistance from their guidance counselors based on what they learned. The EDC of Wayne County showed the “American Made Movie,” followed by a tour of Colorbox with students, business and community leaders.

The U.S. Department of Labor said manufacturers have added more than 700,000 jobs since early 2010, jobs with an average salary of $77,000.

Indiana has seen its own economic development success in the manufacturing industry. Indiana leads the nation in manufacturing job growth over the last year with 20,000+ jobs created. Indiana has also added the second most manufacturing jobs (+84,100) in the U.S. since July 2009, at a rate that also ranks second in nation (+19.7%).

Register for the Upcoming Companies to Watch Program

The Indiana Companies to Watch event has proven to be a wonderful showcase of Indiana’s best small businesses. The Aug. 23 program will surely illuminate the work of many dutiful and passionate entrepreneurs, and you can be part of the action. The Indiana Small Business Development Center reports:

“Because of our steadfast commitment to creating the best business climate possible, it is no surprise that Indiana has become a hub for innovation and entrepreneurism,” said Dan Hasler, Secretary of Commerce and chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “We are thrilled to honor this year’s class of ‘Companies to Watch’ as they exemplify the spirit of ingenuity. Indiana is filled with highly skilled, dynamic small businesses like these that are taking risks and working hard every day to create their own homegrown Hoosier success stories.”

The accolade, presented by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, its Small Business Development Center network and the Edward Lowe Foundation, recognizes the state’s privately held businesses that employ six to 150 full-time employees and have between $750,000 to $100 million in annual revenue or capital.

The 25 ‘Companies to Watch’ will be honored at an Aug. 23 ceremony at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis. Tickets for the ceremony and dinner are still available and may be purchased online at www.ctw2012.eventbrite.com or by calling (888) 472-3244.

Complete List of Companies to Watch Honorees:

  • Advanced Technologies in Electrical and Communications, Inc. (Lebanon)
  • Agdia, Inc. (Elkhart)
  • Anthony Travel, Inc. (Notre Dame)
  • Apex Benefits (Indianapolis)
  • Boice.net (New Albany) 
  • BriMar Wood Innovations Inc. (Goshen) 
  • Catheter Research, Inc. (Indianapolis) 
  • Courseload (Indianapolis)
  • ENS Group, Inc. (Fort Wayne) 
  • FDC Graphic Films, Inc. (South Bend) 
  • Hanapin Marketing (Bloomington)
  • Indiana Reline, Inc. (Sulphur Springs) 
  • LeadJen (Indianapolis)
  • Nolan Security & Investigations, LLC (Avon)
  • Oak Street Funding (Carmel)
  • OurHealth (Indianapolis) 
  • PullRite (Mishawaka)
  • Raidious (Indianapolis)
  • Sailrite Enterprises, Inc. (Columbia City) 
  • Smarter Remarketer, LLC (Indianapolis)
  • Spencer Machine & Tool Co. Inc. (Jeffersonville)
  • Treadstone, LLC (South Bend) 
  • TrendyMinds (Indianapolis)
  • Windstream Technologies, Inc. (New Albany)
  • Wolfe Diversified Industries (Anderson)

Straight from the Heart(land): All Ideas Welcome Here

Bob Carr is founder (in 1997) and still leader of Heartland Payment Systems, the fifth largest credit card processor in the country. Its Jeffersonville-based Heartland Service Center was recently honored in the seventh annual Best Places to Work in Indiana program. Check out their story.

One nugget that didn’t make the story cut was Heartland’s "I have an idea" program. Think of it as a suggestion box on steroids. Not only can anyone (including customer advocates, or call center reps in training) offer their thoughts, but they all go directly to Carr in his Princeton, New Jersey office.

This is a company with more than 2,600 associates across the country. Carr either responds directly or enlists someone on the management team to find out more information about the proposal before answering the employee.

Jeff Nichols, head of operations in Jeffersonville and a 15-year member of the Heartland team, explains: "We recognize if we have to make decisions and don’t take in information from every channel, we’re limited by our own creativity. Anybody in the company can send in an idea. We’ve implemented hundreds and hundreds. Some are very big and save the company money. Some are just simple things."

Kudos to Carr and Heartland, along with rest of the Best Places to Work winners. Learn more about these organizations in the current BizVoice.

Making Sweet Music at Heartland

"It’s like a family reunion."

"It puts a face with a name."

"I really get excited when I see people get together who’ve never met."

Those are three participant descriptions of a mid-March event hosted by Heartland Payment Systems. Titled "Beyond the Win: Heartland Summit 2012," the gathering is part business meeting, full festival of fun and recognition.

"We bring the sales force in, our external team for all 50 states," explains Jeff Nichols, executive director of the Jeffersonville-based Heartland Service Center Operations. Heartland, founded in 1997 and headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, is the fifth largest payment processor in the United States.

"We work with those folks on a daily basis," Nichols continues. "The real big value of the overall summit is it’s more sales driven. We always roll out our newest products. The nighttime is all about celebrating our employees."

Hearty handshakes, and more often hugs, were the norm as I attended one of the evening celebrations. Why was I there? To do a story on the Jeffersonville operation as one of the Best Places to Work in Indiana. It was easy to see through both that event and interviews with some of the Heartland team the next day at their state-of-the-art home why the company earned the honor.

My full Heartland story will be in the May-June BizVoice magazine. It debuts May 3, the night of the Best Places to Work in Indiana awards dinner. It’s not too late to attend the dinner with 70 of Indiana’s top workplaces as determined by their employees. If you want to participate in the 2013 program, learn more here.

The awards event I attended as part of the summit was capped by a Fourth Street Live (if you’ve been to downtown Louisville, you’re undoubtedly familiar with this venue) concert performance by Nichols and a talented group of other local musicians. A Steely Dan tribute was the theme for the night, and I tried not to be too offended when some of the attendees mentioned how they really didn’t know too much about the band, which enjoyed its greatest popularity in the mid to late 1970s (translation: they’re young and I’m getting old).

Steely Dan featured some excellent music and talented artists, but then that’s another story. For now, congratulations to Heartland (and all the Best Places winners) and stay tuned for more about some great workplaces. 

Chamber Back on the Road Again, “What a RRRRRRRush!”

Call us Road Warriors. Perhaps we are not as scary as "Animal" and "Hawk" from the professional wrestling duo known as the "Road Warriors," but we have been hitting the road quite a bit this summer to connect with our members in the various corners of the state. The next stop is August 21 at the Sheraton Riverside Hotel in Jeffersonville.
 
Kevin Brinegar, president of the Indiana Chamber, will discuss Chamber programs and services and you will have an opportunity to network with our southeast Indiana Chamber members.
 
The breakfast is free for Indiana Chamber members and $19 for non-members.The program begins at 8 a.m. and will last one hour. Please contact Abby Hamilton at (317) 264-3793 or [email protected] to RSVP.
 
No need to worry. We did NOT invite Animal and Hawk to this event. We knew they’d do a flying elbow drop body slam on Kevin before eating all of your breakfast.