Strong Labor Force Attracts Foreign Investment to Northeast Indiana

By: Sarah Rodriguez on March 7th, 2019

As uncertainty looms with trades and tariffs, the competitive global economy still recognizes the United States as a reliable investment.

Why? Here are a few quick facts about foreign direct investment (FDI) in the U.S.:

  1. The U.S. offers access to a consumer market of over 325 million with an annual GDP of $20 trillion. That’s a primary reason why international companies continue to invest in the U.S., according to SelectUSA.
  2. Global business policy council ATKearney listed the U.S. on the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index for the sixth year in a row citing, “The continued attractiveness of the U.S. to foreign investors is likely a result of its large domestic market, improving economic performance and new lower corporate tax rate.”

Many regional business leaders consistently hear from local and regional economic developers that Northeast Indiana is experiencing critical workforce shortages. However, when compared with other states and countries vying for foreign investment, we rely on our strong, productive labor force to attract new international businesses. 

Recently, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) listed Indiana at 65.1 percent labor force participation, compared to the U.S. rate of 63.1 percent. For 55 months in a row, Indiana has outpaced the U.S. national rate.

Here are a few factors that illustrate the benefit of strong foreign investment in the region. 

Additional Regional Investment

  • Over the past decade, international companies increased their charitable contributions by 123 percent. That’s 104 percent above the economy-wide average of charitable contributions.
  • Across the nation, U.S. workers at international companies earn 26 percent higher compensation than the economy-wide average–making $81,200 annually.
  • Of the 111,600 workers employed by international companies in Indiana, 58 percent are in manufacturing.

Enhanced Talent Pool

  • About 800 international employers employ 193,000 Hoosiers, according to OFII
  • Indiana’s FDI employment has risen by 32 percent over the past five years, while private-sector employment has risen by 10 percent. Indiana also outpaced our neighbors Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, according to OFII.   
  • A study of immigrants and refugees in the region found 7.6 percent of workers in the manufacturing industry are foreign-born. Because of the role immigrants play in the workforce helping companies keep jobs on U.S. soil, we estimate that by 2016, immigrants living in the region helped create or preserve 1,299 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved.

Northeast Indiana is home to 100 international companies. From Continental Structural Plastics owned by a Japanese company to Saratoga Potato Chips LLC owned by a Canadian company, the international companies that call Northeast Indiana their home are woven into the fabric of our communities.

In order to attract foreign direct investment to Northeast Indiana, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership along with local economic developers engage with organizations such as German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest (GACC), Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Transatlantic Business & Investment Council (TBIC), SelectUSA and foreign consulate offices.

We also host the Japan-Northeast Indiana Summit as another way to support foreign direct investment in the region. Now in its second year, the Summit will bring together thought leaders within the Japanese business community, elected officials, educators, economic developers and many more.

Click here to download an FDI investment map from the IEDC that includes Northeast Indiana companies. 

Contact Director of Business Development Sarah Rodriguez to learn more about the upcoming Summit.

Categories & Tags Business Innovation