Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Manufacturing—Gazelles Growing—Dinosaurs Dying

When I returned from my three day trip to PA and OK, I picked up the local newspaper which headlined a 50 person expansion at Peerless of America. The company makes heat exchangers and extruded aluminum products with 138 employees, so a 50 person expansion is major.

As I was reading that article I reflected upon the number of companies I had seen on my trip that were expanding. This was a trend that wasn’t just localized to my hometown.

In Grove City, PA both GE and Pine Instruments are going through expansions due to an increase in exports.

In Duncan, OK Halliburton had grown their manufacturing employment from 800 a year ago to 1250 in 2007.

In Stillwater, OK Mercruiser was undergoing a $15 million expansion with 100 new jobs added, winning a corporate battle for expansion in Mexico and China.

At the Stillwater Economic Summit, Dr. Mark Snead, research economist at OSU asked David Myers of the Ponca City, OK Development Authority, “What is your view of what is happening in manufacturing and why is it growing in Ponca City?” Myers said it best when he said, “The gazelles are growing but the dinosaurs are dying.”

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