Manufacturing staffing picks up in Indiana


An Indiana-based company is expanding as it eyes future growth.
An Indiana-based company is expanding as it eyes future growth.

The U.S. manufacturing sector has been one of the strongest segments of the economy over the past few years. Following the upheaval caused by the financial and housing crises, which struck in 2007, the nation's manufacturers have experienced strong demand for their goods.

In his State of the Union address in 2010, President Obama affirmed the administration's goal of more than doubling the nation's exports over the next five years. While some economists scoffed at the president's ambitious target, U.S. exports have risen 34 percent over the past two years, and if their pace of growth continues they are on track to more than double by 2015, according to NPR.

Manufacturers throughout the U.S. have benefited from the sharp uptick in demand for U.S.-produced products. This week in Indianapolis, officials at Haggard & Stocking Associates said the company would expand its operations in the region, a move that would result in the creation of more than 25 new jobs.

The company, which supplies customers with aerospace, automotive and medical products, plans to invest more than $520,000 to expand its aerospace segment. The company plans to upgrade its current aerospace production center, a move local officials said would support manufacturing staffing in the state.

Companies like Haggard & Stocking Associates have helped power an economic and job recovery in Indiana over the past few years, according to Dan Hasler, the chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Staffing agencies have reported more robust demand over the past year, as hiring has trended upward in the state, according to public officials.

"We're grateful to have pioneering companies like Haggard & Stocking decide to expand in Indiana and create more opportunities for Hoosiers," Hasler noted. "With a friendly business climate and a well-established infrastructure, Indiana continues to provide companies small and large with the tools to grow and succeed."

At the height of the recession in May 2009, Indiana's unemployment rate stood at 10.8 percent. However, the state's labor economy has continued to show signs of an overall expansion over the past three years. Last month, Indiana's unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as engineering staffing and manufacturing staffing rebounded.

Haggard & Stocking is also planning to expand its payroll in other areas, according to company executives. The firm, which currently employs more than 55 full-time workers, is seeking to hire sales and management associates, as well as customer service and warehouse workers. Herb Haggard, the company's president and chief executive officer, said Indiana's business environment compelled the firm to increase its presence in the state.

"Haggard & Stocking's success and growth would have been greatly diminished without the supportive business environment in Indiana," he said. "We're very pleased to have our headquarters in Indiana, where small business owners are appreciated and celebrated."

Haggard & Stocking's announcement is the latest in a series of positive economic developments for the state. Public officials have continued to pledge their support for businesses operating in the state, and a number of firms have announced since the beginning of the year that they are also planning to increase hiring, especially as demand picks up amid a sustained economic recovery.