Employment in Indiana's industrial sector jumped 1 percent over the last 12 months, adding more than 5,000 manufacturing jobs, according to the 2012 Indiana Manufacturers Directory.
The annual directory, published by Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI), found that 5,184 new industrial jobs were created between March 2011 and March 2012. Indiana's current manufacturing industry is home to 9,751 manufacturers that support 555,578 workers.
"Following several years of job losses, Indiana is finally seeing a renaissance in its manufacturing sector," said Tom Dubin, MNI president. "The state's friendly business environment and solid infrastructure have been a draw for a variety of enterprises, particularly in the auto sector."
What's more, a number of new projects are expected to increase manufacturing staffing even more. Alcoa recently announced it expects to open a new aluminum plant outside Lafayette, Mossberg Industries is planning to expand its spool-molder facility in Garrett and Belstra Milling recently announced will expand its animal feed plant in DeMotte.
The auto industry is strongly supporting the state's manufacturing jobs, with Honda adding a new shift at its Greensburg plant and Toyota upping production at its Princeton facility. Auto suppliers are also adding new jobs, with Flex N Gate expanding its Covington factory and Bushe Enterprise increasing production in Albion.
Employment in the state's transportation equipment manufacturing sector added the most jobs in the last year, meaning it now supports 83,869 workers - a 2.3 percent increase compared with the same period a year earlier. Industrial machinery and equipment came in second with 69,757 jobs, a 1.9 percent increase.
Increases in manufacturing staffing will likely continue in the near future. American Mitsuba Corporation, a maker of electric motors, actuators and electrical components, announced on May 23 it plans to invest $8.3 million in new equipment and an expansion to its facility in Monroeville, which will need an additional 25 workers to operate.
"The investments in new equipment, additional warehousing, and 25 core associate positions are exactly what people in the Monroeville area need to see continued growth in our town," said Don Gerardot, Monroeville town council president. "We are excited to have American Mitsuba investing and growing in our community once again."