In the last six months, Acme Industries has hired 53 new workers to ratchet up production of components for locomotive engines, steering mechanisms for mining trucks and other complex large machinery in El Grove, Illinois. In St. Charles, Bison Gear and Engineering Corp. is bringing back jobs that have been in China for years, and in Aurora, Peerless Industries has brought its manufacturing plants back to Illinois.
According to the Chicago Daily Herald, these are just a few of the many signs of a growing industry, and paints a picture that is a far cry from the visions of an industry that is on its last leg in America. Although experts are all in agreement that the U.S. manufacturing industry will never be as robust as it was in earlier years, evidence exists that factories could thrive in suburbs, where manufacturing staffing would have the opportunity to grow as the U.S. economy slowly improves.
"Over the last few years, manufacturing in this country has been having a bit of a Renaissance," Acme Industries CEO Warren Young said. "My business, for one, has been having some wonderful success lately."
This trend appears to be reflected across the country, where U.S. manufacturing was on a 34-month expansion path before slightly shrinking last month.
Higher production from factories begins with higher employment, and statistics show manufacturing staffing has continued to grow from low points during the recession. As of May, the Illinois Department of Employment Security noted there were 592,800 manufacturing jobs throughout the state, and 327,800 in eight areas surrounding Chicago, marking an increase of 42,500 and 16,500, respectively, since January 2010.
What's more, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted that a total of 495,000 new manufacturing jobs have been created since 2010 all over the country, many of which were added in the Midwest. Other regions with strong manufacturing industries include Texas, Louisiana and other states throughout the South.
According to the most recent data from the BLS, employment in manufacturing continued its upward trend in June, adding 11,000 new jobs. Manufacturing staffing growth in the second quarter averaged 10,000 jobs per month, compared with an average of 41,000 per month in the first quarter of 2012.