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Manufacturing is Alive and Well in These Three Indiana Cities


Indiana is well-known for the sport where one aims to shoot a ball through a hoop. But the Hoosier state has also made a name for itself in manufacturing.

In a new study, the state scores a three-pointer with three of its cities — Elkhart, Columbus and Kokomo — ranked No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 among manufacturing towns in the United States. The study, “Top U.S. Cities Where Manufacturing is Thriving,” was conducted by AdvisorSmith, a company that provides research and tools to better understand insurance for business.

Elkhart and the surrounding cities in Elkhart County are referred to as the “RV capital of the world,” with 52 percent of all RVs produced in the United States manufactured in the county, according to the study. In 2018, the city produced 507 percent more jobs for manufacturing, on a per-capita basis, than the average U.S. city and had a manufacturing output of $6.68 billion.

During the study period, manufacturing output grew by a compounded annual rate of 6.4 percent while manufacturing employment grew by 4.1 percent. Elkhart’s manufacturing output per capita was $32,489, more than four times the national average of $7,032.

Columbus, a small city in the central part of the state, is known as a producer of automotive engines and is the headquarters of Cummins, a Fortune 500 corporation that designs, manufactures and distributes engines. Thirty-eight percent of the people who work in Columbus work in the manufacturing industry. Columbus has 350 percent more manufacturing jobs than the national average on a per-capita basis.

Kokomo, a small city in central Indiana, is one of the biggest producers of automotive transmissions parts in the nation. The city can boast 245 percent more manufacturing jobs than the national average.

Geographically, the Midwest and South accounted for 39 out of the top 50 cities in the study. Here are the top 10 cities:

1. Elkhart, Ind.
2. Columbus, Ind.
3. Rocky Mount, N.C.
4. Kokomo, Ind.
5. Sheboygan, Wis.
6. San Jose, Calif
7. Reno, Nev.
8. Lake Charles, La.
9. Mount Vernon, Wash.
10. Dalton, Ga.

Click here to read the full report.