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Indiana Manufacturers: Attracting the Millennial Manufacturing Workforce

Posted 2:59 PM by

Indianapolis is looking to lure manufacturers back downtown. Why? The answer is simple: Manufacturers will find more of the technically skilled workers they are looking for in the city than in rural areas.

While there is much dialogue on what the ultimate location preferences of the dubbed “millennials” will be, when Nielsen noted last year that U.S. cities are growing faster than the suburbs for the first time in nearly a century, people paid attention. There appears to be an increasing preference among this generation to live in urban settings, despite the fact that, in many cases, it comes at a higher cost. And the high-tech workers that manufacturers desperately need are among these young workers.

To this end, the Indianapolis Mayor’s office, Indy Chamber and a local redevelopment organization is forming a yet-to-be-named non-profit this year focused on the rehabilitation of dilapidated urban properties for use by manufacturers.

Drew Klacik, senior policy analyst at the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, says this just makes sense: “Contrary to stereotypes, many of the skilled workers needed by advanced manufacturers want bike trails, concerts, walkable neighborhoods – the same amenities sought by their white-collar counterparts.”

As millennials continue to flock to urban environments, Indiana manufacturers will need to evaluate how they will compete for this tech-savvy talent. If not, other markets will.

About the Author
Jon Nix is a member of Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Audit and Assurance Services Department. Jon audits and reviews financial statements, and he advises clients on accounting, reporting, compliance and internal control matters. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Comments (1)
S. A. Chopanza wrote
Unfortunately, the mass exodus from manufacturing during the early 90's and this millenia pales these efforts by comparison. I encourage you to talk to the users of bike trails, etc. Ask them, "Are you a manufacturing engineer?", "Are you thinking of starting a manufacturing company in Indy?" or "How much product does your company export?". Let's face it, you don't "lure manufacturers" with bicycle paths. You create the environment for them to produce economically. Better yet, you encourage and foster an environment of entrepreneurship amongst your citizens. I like bicycle paths and I am a huge fan of cycling..... you just can't export them readily and you can't move too much product on a bicycle trail. Alfred Champion! Where are you?!
Posted May 22 2015 11:38 AM
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