Business Facilities Magazine recently released its 2022 Metro Rankings Report, and three metropolitan areas in Indiana were recognized for attracting and retaining businesses within the manufacturing sector, with Columbus, Indiana, named the #1 Manufacturing Hub among all U.S. small metros.  The other two Hoosier metros were Elkhart, IN (#1 Mid-Size MSA) and Kokomo, IN (#10 Small MSA).

Economic development officials in Columbus were pleased to receive the national ranking, but they were not necessarily surprised by it.

“With over 38% of local employment in manufacturing, we consistently rank in the top 2% of all U.S. counties for manufacturing employment year after year,” said Jason Hester, president of Greater Columbus (Indiana) Economic Development Corporation.  “We also have one of the highest concentrations of engineering talent in the U.S., which keeps our manufacturing sector among the most advanced in the nation.”

To support those claims, Hester points to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released earlier this year, showing the Columbus, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area to have among the highest concentrations of several key manufacturing and engineering occupational strengths in the U.S., including Industrial Engineers, Industrial Engineering Technicians, Production Occupations, and more.  See table for a selected list of rankings.

Leading employers in Columbus, Indiana, with employment over 1,000 persons include Toyota Material Handling, NTN Driveshafts, Forvia/Faurecia, and the city’s largest employer, Cummins Inc., whose Fortune 200 global headquarters, tech center, and several production sites employ approximately 8,000 in the region.

Other large manufacturers in the South Central Indiana Economic Development region include Aisin USA, Valeo, Gecom, and Honda’s Civic assembly plant.

“Our manufacturers are investing in new technologies, and our region’s workers are helping them meet the demands of customers, whether it’s designing and producing engines and automotive components, OTC pharmaceuticals, or food and beverage products,” said Hester.

In April of last year, California-based Ninth Avenue Foods announced a new $103 Million dairy beverage manufacturing facility in Columbus, set to begin production in the coming months.  In August of this year, local contract manufacturer Applied Laboratories announced a new $7 million expansion of its Columbus-based pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing operations.


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