manufacturing

Holcomb Heads To India On Trade Mission

Oct 27, 2017

Gov. Eric Holcomb left for a week-long trade mission to India Friday. The country has deep ties to the Hoosier information technology and manufacturing sectors, and thousands of Indian students attend college here.

Holcomb will meet India-based executives for Hoosier companies like Cummins, which is also a major employer of skilled Indian workers on visas.

Indiana’s ports move millions of tons each year of the stuff that’s made and used at Midwest factories, including steel, grains and coal. The three ports – one on Lake Michigan and two on the Ohio River – connect Indiana to the national and global economies, and each has to find its own ways to keep up with change.

For the first part of a three-part series, we visited the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor to see how it’s secured its place in the steel industry.

Indiana manufacturers hope the 2018 legislative session will hone in on workforce and education reforms to help fill jobs.

The state’s top business sector wants lawmakers to realign $1 billion in existing workforce spending and create incentives to attract new workers.

President Donald Trump disbanded two of his economic advisory councils, after many members resigned in protest of his response to racist violence.

Trump tweeted Wednesday he was “ending” his Manufacturing Council and Strategic & Policy Forum, all made up of CEOs and other industry and workforce leaders.

Among those who resigned from the manufacturing group before that tweet were national AFL-CIO union president Richard Trumka and his chief of staff.

Arconic / Facebook

The Arconic Foundation hopes a recent donation to Ivy Tech Community College's Lafayette campus will help address the skills gap facing the manufacturing industry.

The college plans to use its $100,000 grant to start a new 3-D printing course and buy two 3-D printers. The school also plans to purchase laser cutters and engravers, all to be housed in a new lab space.

Ivy Tech Lafayette vice chancellor Todd Roswarski says he expects the program to simulate real-world experience.

Indiana’s manufacturing sector is regrouping after a legislative session they’d hoped would focus on workforce development.

While some advocates applaud the reform that did pass – geared toward using the career and technical education system to fix labor shortages – others say there’s a lot more work to be done.

President Donald Trump is touting a new survey from the National Association of Manufacturers that shows record optimism among American factory owners – a rosier picture than a similar Indiana survey painted last fall.

A northern Indiana RV-maker will add more than 400 new jobs in LaGrange County in the next two years, as the region’s mainstay industry continues to rebound.

Forest River is one of northern Indiana’s leading recreational vehicle manufacturers, employing 11,000 Hoosiers in Elkhart and LaGrange counties.

It now plans to repurpose several empty factories in the small town of LaGrange and add 425 jobs. It’s receiving tax incentives from the town and state to do so.

Annie Ropeik

A Ball State University economic forecast says the United States has fully recovered from the Great Recession and growth is coming.  The annual prediction also shows slow growth in Indiana, especially in the state’s manufacturing sector.

Ball State economist Michael Hicks predicts the national economy will grow by 2.1 percent next year.  Compared to other national forecasts, that’s conservative – some predict up to 2.4 percent growth.

 

After decades of manufacturing job losses, some Hoosier cities with majority white populations are bouncing back. But Gary, which is mostly black, is still struggling to stabilize.

It’s where former steelworker Mike Mitchell grew up. He pulls up to an empty lot on a quiet side street and stops his car.

“That’s where we used to stay,” he says.

The house where he grew up was torn down years ago. Now, it’s just weeds and wood scraps.

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