Indiana earned four As on its 2012 Manufacturing & Logistics Report Card, officials said Tuesday.
It was one of only two states that received an A for the overall vitality of both its manufacturing and logistics industries, according to Conexus Indiana, the Hoosier States manufacturing and logistics initiative. Ohio was the other.
Indiana also captured As in global position and tax climate.
But the fifth annual report also pointed to areas that need improvement. Indianas benefit costs, human capital and diversification all earned a C+ or lower on the report card, developed by economists at the Ball State University Center for Business & Economic Research.
Manufacturing and logistics combine to employ one in four Hoosiers. Logistics refers to warehouse and shipping operations, such as the $70 million distribution center that Family Dollar Stores Inc. recently built in Ashley, creating 350 jobs, and the $36 million distribution center that General Mills is building near Fort Wayne International Airport, creating 65 jobs.
Both projects were announced last year.
Hoosiers lag in the number of adults who have education or training beyond high school, ranking 42nd in the U.S. in the number of adults with four-year college degrees. Many of the jobs being created require advanced technical skills.
Meanwhile, Indiana has the most manufacturing-intensive economy in the country.
Steve Dwyer, Conexus Indianas president and CEO, noted that the average age of current manufacturing workers is over 50, and the pipeline of future workers is weak.
We have to introduce young Hoosiers to manufacturing and logistics careers early on, and give them opportunities to acquire the skills they need in 21st-century factories and high-tech supply chain operations, he said in a statement.