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2011 Manufacturing Report Card: Indiana Poised for Growth; Education Gap Must be Met

This past Friday, Conexus and the IBJ presented the manufacturing and logistics report for our state. Michael Hicks, Director of Ball State University’s Bureau of Business Research, gave us the details and the message was a combination of the very good coupled with a caution for the future in one category of performance. The positives focus on Indiana’s market share and growth in both the manufacturing and logistics industries: “Indiana continues to have the largest share of income from manufacturing in the nation” and “Indiana’s logistics sector has growth in both strength and scope.”

Added to that were Indiana’s high marks in exporting and its tax climate for new investment. Mr. Hicks further highlighted Indiana’s performance as compared to neighboring states. The results show Indiana as the only state in the Midwest not to receive a D or F in any category this year. Perhaps the most impressive numbers discussed were those related to employment. While the rest of the country has experienced a decline in employment in manufacturing, Indiana has seen a rise of 4.6 percent since the end of the recession. So, where does the state fall short? 

The answer and the overarching message from Mr. Hicks and the other panelists was the state’s current condition of human capital.  The report indicates “Indiana’s human capital development is inadequate to sustain high level income growth and to continue to attract new investment in manufacturing over the coming decade.”  Conexus is attacking Indiana’s human capital problem head-on through the promotion of manufacturing industry education. Conexus has its own education initiative and is working with the National Association of Manufacturers to develop a skills certification system. Ivy Tech is also working with manufacturers to structure curriculum that meets the needs of various manufacturing areas.  

As we see Indiana’s continued ability to attract companies from states such as Illinois and California due to our business and tax climate, improving the current condition of human capital will be critical in the future to meet the needs of the companies choosing to come to Indiana. If you have questions about the impact these findings might have on your business, contact the Corporate and Transactional Practice Group at Bingham Greenebaum Doll.

To learn more about Daniel L. Boots and his practice, visit his profile.

  • Partner

    Dan is a senior partner of the Intellectual Property and Technology (IP&T) group (former chair 1997-2009), concentrating his practice on counseling emerging and established businesses in all areas of intellectual property and ...

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