Manufacturing Can Lead the Way

(Below is a picture of Enrique Conterno, President of Lilly Diabetes and board member of NAM, with Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana)

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The U.S. economy has shown moments of resolve in recent months, but a full-on recovery is still somewhere off in the distance. Potential solutions continue getting tossed around Capitol Hill -- and one, in particular, seems like a natural: we need to flex our manufacturing muscle and leverage the infrastructure we've already built.

That message came through loud and clear on Monday when Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) visited Lilly's corporate headquarters in Indianapolis to receive an award from the National Association of Manufacturers for his support of key manufacturing legislation. Several local manufacturers and vendors joined Lilly and NAM in thanking Sen. Donnelly for his support during a small reception at Lilly Corporate Center.

Why is the support of manufacturing issues so important? A healthy manufacturing environment can produce a healthy economic climate. Following are some interesting datapoints:

  • According to the 2012 Manufacturing & Logistics Report Card, Indiana is the most manufacturing-intensive economy in the country -- including manufacturing employment per capita (No. 1).
  • Indiana ranks 10th nationally in manufacturing exports per capita. When it comes to life sciences products, only California and Texas export more goods than Indiana.
  • In Central Indiana, 12 of the top 25 manufacturers are from the life sciences sector -- the fastest growing industry in the state.

For companies such as Lilly with strong manufacturing operations, the right environment -- everything from trade agreements to less onerous regulations -- is critical to our success. And when it comes to the life sciences, our success breeds success (in 2011, Lilly spent more than $1 billion on Indiana vendors alone). Votes on Capitol Hill, and in state capitols, really do matter.