Manufacturing Day is an annual celebration of manufacturing in America. Last week Gilad and I visited a meet-and-greet at one of the large manufacturers in our area, West Liberty Foods.
It was a nice event. The community was invited to meet some of the company’s leadership (both corporate and local) and learn more about the company. Also—and this is the best part—we were able to taste the products that they create.
West Liberty Foods processes and packages turkey, beef, pork and chicken. They count Subway restaurants, Wal-Mart, and Costco among their global customers. They have several locations across the country. Most importantly to our local landscape, they provide over 900 jobs here in our hometown of West Liberty, Iowa, where their corporate offices are located.
Overall, the event seemed well-attended, with quite a few local names and faces coming through. A large high school class also showed up and spent time talking with the plant manager Tom Alberti and others. The local newspaper, The West Liberty Index, came over to cover the event.
West Liberty Foods staff was mingling with the crowd, introducing themselves and answering questions.
I think the community welcomed this “open house” from a large local manufacturer. I know that sometimes the community can be critical of large industry due to some of the byproducts of manufacturing: noise, odors, traffic, and the like. However, an event like this can go a long way towards helping the community get to know the faces of the people who operate the plant on a daily basis.
I also believe it’s important to celebrate manufacturing as a huge part of our economy. Clearly it is a significant part of our national economy. And here in Iowa it plays a massive role in our economy, amounting to over 18% of our state’s GDP.
Here’s what we’re celebrating in Iowa on national Manufacturing Day
Below are some statistics on manufacturing in Iowa, from Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS).
- Iowa is home to approximately 6,080 manufacturing firms.
- Manufacturing contributed $34.0 billion to Iowa’s economy in 2016, representing 18.4 percent of the state’s total gross domestic product (GDP).
- Iowa ranks seventh among all states in its percentage of GDP from manufacturing.
- The manufacturing sector’s 220,989 jobs accounted for 10.6 percent of Iowa’s total employment in 2016.
- More than half (53.4 percent) of Iowa’s manufacturing jobs are located in its non-metropolitan counties.
- Earnings from manufacturing jobs account for 12.1 percent of total earnings in Iowa’s metropolitan areas and 24.0 percent of total earnings in non-metropolitan regions.
- The average manufacturing job in Iowa paid $56,080 in wages and salaries in 2016.
- Iowa exported $10.35 billion worth of manufactured goods to other countries in 2016.
Impressive numbers! Manufacturing is a backbone of our country, and we are happy to participate in national Manufacturing Day to celebrate this industry.
Big Imprint has launched a special focus on helping manufacturers with their online presence. We build manufacturing websites for industrial companies here in Iowa and all around the country. It’s a perfect fit for us, being based in Iowa where manufacturing is so strong.
Happy Manufacturing Day!
P.S. Take a peek at how we helped this Iowa manufacturer spread the word about their high-quality products: https://www.bigimprint.com/new-website-iowa-manufacturer/