Salute to IndustryManufacturer’s Breakfast” Oct. 27 Announced by KPC Media Group

Nine Regional Manufacturers to Be Honored - Tickets are available HERE

A signature business event has been announced this week by KPC Media Group, Inc., publisher of The Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly, to bring together the leaders in manufacturing in Northeast Indiana, and to recognize outstanding and historic companies in the sector. 

On Tuesday, Oct. 27 KPC Media Group along with co-sponsor The Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana will host the “Salute to Industry Manufacturer’s Breakfast” at the Mirro Center in Fort Wayne.  Nine awards will be presented to top manufacturers operating in the 12 counties that comprise the Northeast Indiana/Fort Wayne, Indiana MSA.

“Manufacturers in Indiana account for 27.84% of the total output in the state, employing 17.24% of Indiana’s workforce. In the 12 counties of Northeast Indiana, manufacturing represents 29.0% of all jobs (based on latest data available prior to the Covid-19 crisis), explained Phelps.  “Assisted by area manufacturing leaders, we will bring together top plant managers, vendors, political leaders and the public for a networking event to discuss issues of importance to this critical segment of our employment base,” said Phelps.  

Information on nominating or voting for manufacturers in operation for a minimum of three years is available at

“The Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana is both proud and happy to support this first Northeast Indiana Regional Manufacturers’ event,” said Bill Konyha, President and CEO of the organization.  “Manufacturing is what we do.  Innovation and technology have altered manufacturing and this 21st Century version has become a significantly different career path for Hoosiers.   The career path today requires technical skills, and it rewards them with incomes that closely resemble incomes that used to only be realized by college graduates.  This event will recognize the leading companies in our area.” 

The AWARD Categories include:


                Northeast Indiana Manufacturer of the Year

                Northeast Indiana-Owned Manufacturer of the Year

                Northeast Indiana Internationally-Owned Manufacturer of the Year

                Northeast Indiana “Green” Manufacturer of the Year

                Northeast Indiana Workplace Diversity Award in Manufacturing

                Northeast Indiana “Best Place to Work” in Manufacturing

                Corporate Citizen of the Year-- Manufacturing Sector


Voting in all categories opens today, Friday, May 22, and closes Friday, August 28.  Semi-finalists in all categories will be announced September 3, with the winners announced at the event Oct 27. 


U.S Congressman Jim Banks will be the keynote speaker.



Indiana is a national leader in the concentration of wages and employees in manufacturing, with 7 of the 12 counties in Northeast Indiana in the top 3% or 4% of all counties in the U.S. with a strong manufacturing base.

Total State of Indiana output from manufacturing was $102.09 billion in 2018, the most recent data available, an increase of 29% from 2008.   In addition, there were an average of 542,000 manufacturing employees in the state in 2018, with an average annual compensation of $77,234.69 in 2017. 

By product area, leading the way were chemical products, motor vehicles and parts, primary metals, fabricated metal products, food, beverage and tobacco products, and machinery.

Manufacturers help to drive Indiana’s economy, with $38.14 billion in manufactured goods exported in 2018, of which 46.95% of the products manufactured here headed to Canada, followed by 32.83% going to Mexico. This helps create jobs in the state, with 24.70% of manufacturing employment stemming from exports.  “And, small businesses comprised 85.00% percent of all exporters in Indiana, in the most recent data available,” said Phelps. “All across our region, there are a number of smaller firms that produce great products, and employ our residents.”  Exports add to the logistics employment numbers, as well, including trucking, rail and the warehousing sector.

Northeast Indiana’s largest manufacturing employers include Zimmer Biomet Orthopedic Supplies with 4,370 employees;  General Motors Trucks with 3,900; Steel Dynamics, Inc. Scrap Metal Processing & Steel Manufacturing with 2,822; LSC Communications Book & Other Specialized Printing with 1,935; BFGoodrich Tires 1,640; and Thor Industries, Inc. Recreational Vehicles & Travel Trailers with 1,467, to name a few according to recent information published by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

ABOUT KPC MEDIA GROUP:   KPC Media Group, with offices in Fort Wayne, Columbia City, Kendallville, Auburn and Angola, is the publisher of three daily and 10 weekly newspapers in the region, as well as numerous daily news websites and social media platforms. 

Interview Opportunity:  Lou Phelps, CEO.  912-220-2759.  Email:

ABOUT THE REGIONAL CHAMBER:   The Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana represents private sector business in the 11 counties of Northeast Indiana.

Interview Opportunity:  Bill Konyha, President & CEO.  260-568-3838.   Email:



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