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Kansas Gained Manufacturing Jobs, Plants over Past Year


EVANSTON, IL--June 25, 2013: Industrial employment in Kansas increased 1.7% over the past year, according to the 2013 Kansas Manufacturers Directory, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. MNI reports Kansas gained 3,630 industrial jobs from April 2012 to April 2013, and the number of manufacturers operating in the state increased by 74.

“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.”

Manufacturers' News reports Kansas is now home to 4,588 manufacturers employing 214,259 workers.

"Kansas' industrial climate continues to improve," says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. "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."

According to the industrial directory, Kansas' top sectors by industrial employment all posted gained over the year. Transportation equipment ranks first in the state for number of manufacturing jobs with 46,491 jobs, up 4.2%. Food products manufacturing ranks second with 33,399 industrial jobs, up 2%, while industrial machinery and equipment accounts for 25,884 jobs, up 3.2%.

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, which is expanding production at its facility in Wichita; and VT Hackney, which established a truck bodies production facility in Independence.

Other bright spots for Kansas 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, opening a new plant in Lenexa. Plastics maker Monoflo International will establish a factory in Ottawa; MGP Ingredients plans an expansion at its Atchison location; and Kansas Dairy Ingredients announced plans to build a cheese plant in Hugoton.

Additional industrial sectors in Kansas posting employment gains included lumber/wood, up 5.6%; fabricated metals, up 4%; chemicals, up 3.4%; and stone/clay/glass, up 3.1%. Losses were seen in textiles/apparel, down 4.2%; printing/publishing, down 3.9%; paper products, down 3.3%; and electronics, down 1.4%.

Manufacturing locations in Kansas that have announced closures over the survey period included a Hostess plant in Emporia and Amcor Ltd's location in Lenexa.

MNI reports Southeast Kansas accounts for the most industrial employment in the state, with 100,632 industrial jobs, up about one percent over the year. Northeast Kansas accounts for 88,652 industrial jobs, down 1.7%. The Southwest region accounts for 17,609 jobs, up 2%, while the Northwest saw employment increase 12.4% and is home to 7,366 industrial workers.

MNI's city data shows Wichita remains the state's top city for manufacturing employment, home to 58,473 jobs, up a half percent over the survey period. Second-ranked Kansas City is home to 13,473 jobs, up 6.4% over the past twelve months. Industrial employment in Lenexa increased 2.9% over the year, with the third-ranked city currently home to 10,346 jobs. Olathe accounts for 8,251 jobs, down a half percent, while Topeka is home to 7,654, down 5.6%.

Detailed profiles of Kansas' 4,588 manufacturing companies and 742 distributors can be found in the 2013 Kansas Manufacturers Directory available in print for $107, or available online through MNI's industrial database subscription service Users may generate custom profiles of manufacturers using a variety of criteria, including region, SIC, sales volume, number of employees, and more. Each business profile provides up to 30 facts, including vital contact information, 16,854 executives by name and title, product(s) manufactured, and more.

Manufacturers' News, Inc. is the nation's oldest and largest publisher of state industrial directories and manufacturers databases. For 101 years the company has identified, researched and profiled manufacturing companies. MNI employs an 85-person editorial staff to scour business registrations, trade journals, financial reports, and many other sources to pinpoint every manufacturing establishment in the U.S. Each manufacturer is contacted throughout the year to update their profiles, including their employee counts.