Industry Update: Tennessee Named a Manufacturing Leader

Industry Update: Tennessee Named a Manufacturing Leader

When it comes to economic growth, building momentum is important… and this is especially true in the manufacturing sector. With a renewed focus from consumers to buy products Made in the U.S. and a preference from organizations to work with local suppliers, the Tennessee manufacturing industry is continuously building momentum!

Our momentum is best captured by a recent article by CNBC called The Top Ten States for New Manufacturing Jobs which highlights our state’s successes. Tennessee was named the 9th top state in the nation by adding an estimated 20,600 jobs between December 2009 and March of 2013. The article goes on to explain how manufacturing comprises 8.8% of our state’s economy and the earnings from jobs in our industry exceed $20.7 million. What an impact! Furthermore, Tennessee is 8th in the nation for automobile production. Impressive!

When discussing the top states in the nation for manufacturing job creation, the author noted that the leaders offered “products and services that range from autos, furniture, tools, computers, computer software, toys, plastics, food, liquor, machinery, piping, chemicals, oil and gas.”

Industry Week published a slideshow of the top ten states recapping manufacturing statistics. When they highlighted our state, they used the Made in Tennessee program logo! If you’re a manufacturer in Tennessee and you haven’t signed up yet, that should be some motivation. You could have looked at Industry Week online and said, “I’m a part of that program!” And don’t forget, it’s free to sign up!

Other studies are also showing that the manufacturing picture is improving. The Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index is viewed as a gauge for growth in our industry and registered at 50.9 percent last month. Anything over 50 percent indicates growth, so this is a positive number.  Although we had a brief “hiccup” the previous month when the number showed contraction, every other month in 2013 has been above 50 percent.  A recent Industry Week article also noted that manufacturing profits were up $6.0 billion in Q1 this year compared to Q1 of 2012.

So the question is – as the manufacturing sector continues to build momentum, are you prepared for growth? Ask yourself:

  • Do you have a set plan in place to develop new business?
  • Have you obtained certifications that are important in your industry?
  • Are you operating with lean principles to reduce excess costs?

UT-CIS can help local manufacturers address these keys areas. Click here to see a list of our services or for more information, contact your local rep!

About Tennessee Manufacturing

Manufacturing is an integral part of Tennessee's economy. According to the National Association of Manufactuers, the industry accounts for nearly 15 percent of the state's total output and employs 11.4 percent of its workforce. The goal of the Made in Tennessee program is to support the Volunteer State's manufacturing community by raising awareness of their products and providing resources to help them grow. 


About the Center for Industrial Services

For 50 years, CIS has assisted manufacturers across the state in the areas of business growth, health and safety and sustainability. CIS also has led economic development efforts by helping existing firms become more competitive, develop new products and markets, and by teaching economic development practitioners new approaches to navigating economic growth. For more on CIS visit