Today, at an executive summit sponsored by the Indianapolis Business Journal, economist Michael Hicks provided a “State of the Industry” report card for both Indiana manufacturing and logistics industries. The result: Indiana manufacturing and logistics both get “A”‘s.
Dr. Hicks is an educator and Executive Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) at Ball State University and has provided the reports for seven years. CBR research includes public finance, regional economics, manufacturing, transportation, and energy sector studies.
The categories used for ranking Indiana against the other states included multiple variables that are commonly considered by site selection experts for manufacturing and logistics firms. Within each category variables were aggregated and ranked from 1st to 50th. Grades were assigned A through F using a normal distribution of grades commonly known as a bell curve.
Areas of excellence for Indiana included: Manufacturing industry health, Logistics industry health, Tax Climate, and Global reach (level of international trade and foreign direct investment).
Two areas receiving a lot of attention from policy makers and industry leaders is the category of Human Capital and Worker Benefit Costs. Indiana scored a C- on Human Capital (there was a short-term downward trend in community college graduation during the recession and just after). Indiana scored a C in Worker Benefit Costs, another area of concentrated attention.
Governor Mike Pence addressed the attendees highlighting the administration’s past, present and future efforts to make Indiana a place that offers opportunity to the workers of today and tomorrow.