Manufacturing survey shows need for skilled workers

manufacturingINDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The 2016 Indiana Manufacturing Survey shows financial growth rates in manufacturing have slowed compared to the peak in 2013. Co-author Mark Frolich, associate professor of operations management at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, says regulatory burdens and lack of a skilled work force are also cited as concerns in the study.

The study suggests industry professionals and associations introducing manufacturing career options at the high school level would boost the available pool of workers. Also, two-year programs such as those offered at Vincennes University and Ivy Tech Community College, and apprenticeships could be maximized to recruit potential employees.

Steve Jones, professor of finance at the Indiana University Kelly School of Business says, “What we’re seeing is that the gains of the last few years have slowed down, so you still see growth, but it’s just a much slower rate of growth than we saw coming out of the recession. I think the biggest contributing factor is just the maturing of the economic recovery in combination with the fact that, in our survey, the respondents indicate that they expect their product markets are going to slow down in terms of growth in the next three to five years and, in anticipation of that, they’re slowing down the rate of growth themselves.”

The study was commissioned by Indianapolis-based Katz, Sapper and Miller.

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