Industrial employment in Kansas increased 1.7 percent over the past year, according to the 2013 Kansas Manufacturers Directory published by Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI). MNI reports Kansas gained 3,630 industrial jobs from April 2012 to April 2013, with the number of manufacturers operating in the state increasing by 74. Kansas is now home to 4,588 manufacturers employing 214,259 workers.
"Kansas' industrial climate continues to improve," says Tom Dubin, president of MNI. "The state's friendly business environment and abundant natural resources have resulted in many companies reinvesting in its manufacturing sector, particularly those in the automotive and transportation equipment industries."
Transportation equipment ranks first in the state for the number of manufacturing jobs with 46,491 jobs. Food products manufacturing was second with 33,399 industrial jobs, while industrial machinery and equipment accounts for 25,884 jobs.
The state saw a flurry of new and expanding transportation equipment facilities over the year, including GM and Ford, which announced plans to expand their assembly plants in Kansas City. Spirit Aerosystems also is expanding production at its facility in Wichita, while VT Hackney established a truck bodies production facility in Independence.
Other bright spots included the opening of Metal Panels Inc.'s new production plant in Kansas City, E.C. Manufacturing's plans to open a facility in Shawnee, and Zell-Metall's announcement it would expand production and open a new plant in Lenexa.
Additional industrial sectors in Kansas posting employment gains included lumber/wood, fabricated metals, chemicals and stone/clay/glass. Losses were seen in textiles/apparel, printing/publishing, paper products and electronics.
Manufacturing locations in Kansas that have announced closures over the past year included a Hostess plant in Emporia and Amcor Ltd.'s location in Lenexa.
MNI's city data shows Wichita remains the state's top city for manufacturing employment with 58,473 jobs, followed by Kansas City with 13,473 jobs. Lenexa ranked third with 10,346 jobs.
For more information, visit www.manufacturersnews.com.