A recently published study shows that Kokomo continues to be a driving force behind the manufacturing industry in the United States.
The study, titled “The Best Cities to Boom in Manufacturing in the United States,” examined cities across the country where manufacturing continued to be a mainstay of local economies. The author, Adrian Mak, based criteria on four economic factors: the growth rate of manufacturing output, manufacturing output per capita, the location quotient of manufacturing and the growth rate of manufacturing employment and a used these criteria to study 294 cities, including Kokomo.
According to Mak, the study was conducted over a four-year period, between 2015 and 2019, to examine which cities have made significant contributions to the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy. Mak used data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the US Census Bureau. The study considered the metropolitan statistical area of ââeach city. In the case of Kokomo, this area encompassed all of Howard County.
âSo Kokomo really has strength and concentration in the manufacturing sector in terms of production and employment,â Mak said.
Kokomo, with a population of less than 150,000, was listed in the study as a small town. Kokomo ranked 10th among cities considered to be “strong manufacturing economies” based on the aforementioned factors, and the city ranked sixth among small towns where “manufacturing was booming”, behind cities like Columbus, Indiana, which ranked number one.
According to Mak’s study, Kokomo has a manufacturing GDP of about $ 25,000 per capita, more than three times the national average, which stands at about $ 7,200.
Likewise, Kokomo far exceeded the national average of 8.2 percent for manufacturing jobs. Kokomo’s manufacturing industry accounted for about 28.3% of all jobs.
Mak surmised that while Kokomo’s leading role in the manufacturing industry would continue for a long time to come, he added that it was important to be able to adapt to new trends in the industry.
âI think your vision for the future depends on your vision for the competitiveness of the US auto industry as it can embrace electrification and the next generation of vehicles. So, you know, the United States continues to be a leader in advanced manufacturing, and I hope that will continue in the future.
âIt all depends on whether businesses and governments continue to invest in the technologies that will power the future. I would say Kokomo has been well exposed to this in the future, âhe said.
Mak added that economic development specialists and local leaders should use the study to examine the skills of Kokomo’s workforce, especially since manufacturing makes up such a large portion of active Kokomoans.
Mak said the transformation of skills – for example, from software development to automotive manufacturing and vice versa – is not feasible. Instead, Mak suggested developing the skills further so that he can adapt to upcoming market trends.
And these trends are electric, according to Mak.
âI think you’re starting to see some of these big manufacturers embracing new technology. Like, for example, Ford recently released an electric F-150. So obviously there’s a lot of potential there, and I think there’s a lot of consumers excited about that as well, âhe said. â… You can use what you have to really produce and thrive in the future. “