Columbus, Indiana named #1 for Manufacturing

Columbus, Indiana named #1 for Manufacturing

Business Facilities Magazine recently released its 2022 Metro Rankings Report. Three metropolitan areas in Indiana were recognized for attracting and retaining businesses within the manufacturing sector. Columbus, Indiana, was named the #1 Manufacturing Hub among all U.S. small metros.

Economic development officials in Columbus were pleased to receive the national ranking, but they were not necessarily surprised by it.

“With over 38% of local employment in manufacturing, we consistently rank in the top 2% of all U.S. counties for manufacturing employment year after year,” said Jason Hester, president of Greater Columbus (Indiana) Economic Development Corporation.  “We also have one of the highest concentrations of engineering talent in the U.S., which keeps our manufacturing sector among the most advanced in the nation.”

To support those claims, Hester points to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released earlier this year, showing the Columbus, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area to have among the highest concentrations of several key manufacturing and engineering occupational strengths in the U.S., including Industrial Engineers, Industrial Engineering Technicians, Production Occupations, and more.  See table for a selected list of rankings.

Leading employers in Columbus, Indiana, with employment over 1,000 persons include Toyota Material Handling, NTN Driveshafts, Forvia/Faurecia, and the city’s largest employer, Cummins Inc., whose Fortune 200 global headquarters, tech center, and several production sites employ approximately 8,000 in the region.

Other large manufacturers in the South Central Indiana Economic Development region include Aisin USA, Valeo, Gecom, and Honda’s Civic assembly plant.

“Our manufacturers are investing in new technologies, and our region’s workers are helping them meet the demands of customers, whether it’s designing and producing engines and automotive components, OTC pharmaceuticals, or food and beverage products,” said Hester.

In April of last year, California-based Ninth Avenue Foods announced a new $103 Million dairy beverage manufacturing facility in Columbus, set to begin production in the coming months.  In August of this year, local contract manufacturer Applied Laboratories announced a new $7 million expansion of its Columbus-based pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing operations.

A copy of the Business Facilities Magazine report can be found at  More information on the Columbus, Indiana MSA – including the communities of Columbus, Edinburgh, and all of Bartholomew County – can be found at

Employment Concentration Rankings

  • #1 U.S. Metro for Industrial Engineers
  • #1 U.S. Metro for Industrial Engineering Technicians
  • #1 U.S. Metro for Industrial Production Managers
  • #1 U.S. Metro for Mechanical Engineers (May 2019)
  • #1 U.S. Metro for Machine Operators, including Lathe & Turning, Forging, Punching & Press
  • #2 U.S. Metro for Machinists
  • #2 U.S. Metro for Coating, Painting & Spraying Machine Operators
  • Top 10 U.S. Metro for Production Occupations
  • Top 10 U.S. Metro for Assemblers & Fabricators
  • Top 10 U.S. Metro for First-Line Supervisors of Production Workers
US Bureau of Labor Statistics Data, May 2021 data, except as noted.

About Greater Columbus Indiana EDC

The Greater Columbus Economic Development Corporation is an independent, non-profit economic development organization serving Columbus and all Bartholomew County, Indiana.  The organization’s strategic goal is to grow & attract well-paying, high value-added, community-minded businesses by influencing and leveraging the area’s distinct capabilities in advanced manufacturing, design, and Science Technology Engineering & Math (STEM) education resources.  Current industry targets include Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Food & Beverage Manufacturing, Engineering Services, and Next Generation Mobility (autonomous, EV, battery tech, etc.). 

Greater Columbus EDC’s approach is three-fold: (1) Work with existing primary employers to help them grow in Columbus and Bartholomew County, (2) attract and recruit new companies, and (3) work with local community partners to build upon and continuously improve the area’s desirability to businesses and residents. 

Since the EDC’s founding in 1976, recruited companies today employ more than 7,500 persons.  More than 400 local expansions have also been recorded, and combined, new projects and expansion have called for $3.6 billion in initial investments.  For more information on the Greater Columbus Economic Development Corporation and the services it offers, please visit or follow us @ColumbusEconDev. 

About Business Facilities

Business Facilities is a leading full-service media brand specializing in the site selection marketplace. Each of the brand’s channels educates corporate executives on issues related to choosing the best location for their growing companies, giving Business Facilities tremendous reach into the site selection marketplace. Business Facilities has been the leading source of intelligence on corporate expansion and relocation since 1968, covering the full range of the experience, from “how-to” information on comparing the financial incentives offered by different communities around the world, to profiles of the latest relocations undertaken by major corporations. The Business Facilities brand consistently focuses on innovative, strategic ideas that help C-Level executives make the best location choices.

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