The manufacturing sector has seen a resurgence in Indiana, due in large part to the automotive industry. Chrysler has announced plans to open a transmission plant in Tipton, and also to expand equipment at their Kokomo plants.
Kelley School of Business Associate Professor Mark Frolich says the Tipton plant is a good sign of the resurgence.
“There‘s groups like Connexus Indiana, the Indiana Manufacturer‘s Association and others who are working pretty aggressively with high school coordinators,” Frolich says. “Manufacturing I think now doesn‘t have the same stigma that maybe it had back when I was a younger man in the 80‘s, now it‘s an exciting place to be, lots of technology.”
Frolich says the plant is an eye toward the future dealing with new fuel economy rates that need to be over 34 miles per gallon by 2016.
He says Chrysler will have the first 9-speed transmission available, which will help the company with its new Chrysler 200, and sets up the company as a leader in the industry.
He adds the plant could add over 800 jobs, but he says suppliers of the plants in Tipton and Kokomo will also see a positive economic impact.