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Advanced Manufacturing in East Central Indiana

“Market Central” for North America*

The region’s legacy of “making things” has produced a base of talent and companies who can build things and solve mechanical, operation, and process challenges.  This legacy of manufacturing innovation and skilled workforce provides the foundation for advanced manufacturing in target industries where the region is most able to innovate in the new economy.
Several long-standing manufacturers continue to exist within the region while new and expanding operations have sought the available space and logistical ease of interstate-accessible industrial parks and buildings.

Auto Suppliers – Region is Central to Customers

East Central Indiana’s concentration of small and mid-sized Tier 1 and 2 auto suppliers, small tool and die shops, metal benders and auto part manufacturers supply over thirty auto assembly plants within 400 miles of the region.  This foundation of the regional economy contributes to the region’s expertise and advanced manufacturing capabilities serving the auto industry, especially in powertrain and related technologies.


Traversed by Interstate 69 (a planned NAFTA trade route) and Interstate 70, the region lays within a well-connected triangle of connectivity affording easy access to Indianapolis and nearby metro areas including Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, Columbus, Louisville and St. Louis.  The region is well served by dedicated north-south and east-west rail lines as well as several airports.  The region is also located along the I-Light Fiber Optic Network, providing access to the country’s fiber backbone.

Innovation and Higher Education Capacity

The region includes Ball State University, Anderson University, Indiana Wesleyan University, Taylor University, Indiana University East and two Purdue College of Technology campuses along with six Ivy Tech Community College locations – all serving the workforce needs of the region.  Combined, these institutions have a student population of more than 46,000.  These colleges offer a continual source of young innovators and entrepreneurs, faculty and students that come from across the globe, and a rich array of programs and research that support innovation.

In addition to these campuses, the region offers business incubators and collaborative workspace like the Flagship Enterprise Center in Anderson, the Innovation Connector in Muncie and the Center City Development Corporation and The Innovation Center in Richmond providing the offices, equipment, training and access to capital needed in order to get start-ups off the ground.

Mid-West Corporate Drivers

In addition to major research institutions, the larger Mid-west region is home to a number of corporations and organizations that drive the economy.  These companies represent a diverse spread of industries from health care (Lilly, WellPoint) to manufacturing (Cummins, Steel Dynamics) to defense (Boeing, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, GE Aviation) to agriculture (ADM).  These drivers support a robust supply chain upon which many existing small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region depend with opportunities for new investment.

*Source:  East Central Indiana Regional Planning District, Vandewalle & Associates

Major Employers
3M Specialty Tapes
Emhart Gripco
Threaded Fasteners
Petoskey Plastics Plastic Recycling
Progress Rail Rail and Transit Products
MPT Muncie/Magna Powertrain
Keihin Aircon North America
Auto components
Ardagh Group Glass manufacturing
Stant USA Automotive components
Howden Roots Industrial pumps
General Motors Automotive stamping
General Cable Wire and cable
FCC (Indiana) Auto components
Primex Plastics Corp Plastics extruders
Motherson Sumi Systems, Ltd. Automotive parts
Berry Plastics
Plastics mold
Belden Americas Div
Wire and cable
Osborn International
Industrial wire brushes
Auto components
Remy International
Auto components
Owens Illinois (Brockway Glass)
Glass manufacturing
TOA Auto components
INTAT Precision, Inc.
Foundry-auto parts
Emerson Copeland
OEM & re-conditioned compressors
Trane Commercial Systems Air handling systems
Draper, Inc.
Window shades, athletic equipment
TS Tech Auto components
New Castle Stainless Plate, LLC Stainless steel plates

Occupation Wages

SOC Description Avg Hourly Wage Median Hourly Wage
51-1011 First-Line Supervisors of Production Workers $28.83 $27.34
51-2092  Team Assemblers $16.83 $16.98
51-2099  Assemblers and Fabricators $16.84 $16.99
51-4011 Computer Controlled Machine Tool Operators $18.54 $18.07
51-4021  Extruding & Drawing Machine Setters, Operators $16.40 $15.99
51-4041 Machinists $20.26 $19.67
51-4072  Molding, Casting Machine Setters, Operators $16.89 $16.48
51-4111  Tool & Die Makers $26.02 $26.51
51-4121 Welders, Cutters, Solderers $18.75 $18.41
51-9198 Helpers – Production Workers $14.56 $14.35
51-9199 Production Workers $18.64 $18.02

Source: JobsEQ® Data as of 2018