Indiana Manufacturers Association and Conexus Indiana launch Manufacturing Month with virtual roundtable event

INDIANAPOLIS (September 28, 2020) The Indiana Manufacturers Association (IMA) and Conexus Indiana announced today the first-ever virtual roundtable event for Indiana industry leaders and educators. The September 29 event kicks off nationally recognized Manufacturing Day activities and a month-long celebration of advanced manufacturing opportunities for students, educators and communities.

The roundtable includes leading manufacturing industry CEOs and HR executives, as well as superintendents from schools in both small and large communities, and will offer opportunities for attendees to learn best practices in developing talent, working with educators and aligning with industry to encourage more students to consider careers in manufacturing.

This is an important event given that nearly a quarter of the current manufacturing workforce will be of retirement age in the next decade and the industry must work hard to develop a comprehensive plan to fill that gap. There are already thousands of unfilled jobs in manufacturing each year.

IMA and Conexus encourage Indiana manufacturers, as well as career and technical education teachers and other educators, guidance counselors and administrators to participate in the 2-hour morning event which will arm these vital student influencers with a better understanding of the types of manufacturing careers available and how to form successful community partnerships – information that can be brought back to their Hoosier communities. Register to participate via this link.

“Indiana manufacturing employs nearly half a million Hoosiers,” said Brian Burton, president and CEO for the IMA. “It is by far the most dominant industry in Indiana and is the backbone to our economy. Manufacturing Day is the time to celebrate the rewarding career opportunities in technology, engineering and innovation that manufacturing offers.”

“Manufacturing month is an important month of celebration in Indiana where more than a third of our state’s GDP comes from the industry,” said Mark Howell, president and CEO for Conexus Indiana. “We are the most manufacturing intensive state in the country, and we must do more to build the next generation manufacturing workforce. Conexus Indiana is thrilled to partner with IMA and other leading Hoosier organizations to celebrate all that manufacturing has to offer and provide resources to educate communities about this vital industry.”

“The Indiana manufacturing community is excited to work more closely with K-12 educators to highlight and promote the high demand and high paying careers that exist in our industry,” said Mike Griffith, president of Major Tool & Machine. “For the past several years, Major Tool and Machine has emphasized the annual Manufacturing Day event as an opportunity to inform and educate the next generation of the outstanding careers available in manufacturing. We are extremely excited to host this inaugural Education and Industry Roundtable and look forward to working with educators to better inform and prepare students for the next phase of their lives.”

Panelists for the roundtable event include:

  • Paul Ketcham, superintendent, Batesville Community School Corporation
  • Kendra O’Brien, vice president, Human Resources, Major Tool & Machine
  • Matthew Prusiecki, superintendent, MSD of Decatur Township
  • Bob Hacker, superintendent, White River Valley School District
  • Katie Jacobsen, president and CEO, Tube Processing Corporation
  • Clay Barnes, president and CEO, MPI Corporation
  • Secretary Blair Milo, Indiana Office of Career Connections and Talent

The event is being hosted by Major Tool & Machine, with support from Quality Mill Supply Co. Inc, Tube Processing Corporation, Ivy Tech Community College and Purdue University’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

About the Indiana Manufacturers Association

Formed in 1901, the Indiana Manufacturers Association is the second oldest manufacturers association in the country and the only trade association in Indiana that exclusively focuses on manufacturing. Manufacturing is the driving force of Indiana’s economy, employing more people and contributing more to Indiana’s gross domestic product than any other industry. The Indiana Manufacturers Association, representing more than 1,100 companies, is dedicated to advocating for a business climate that creates, protects, and promotes quality manufacturing jobs in Indiana. The staff of the Indiana Manufacturers Association are recognized experts in areas including tax, environment, labor relations, human resources, energy, workforce development, and healthcare. For more information, visit

About Conexus Indiana

For more than a decade, Conexus Indiana, one of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) non-profit initiatives, has been positioning the Hoosier State as the best place for advanced manufacturing and logistics industries to invest, employ and succeed. By collaborating with industry, academic and public-sector partners on a shared vision for an innovative, skilled workforce and stronger business climate, Conexus Indiana has helped to create opportunities for advanced manufacturing and logistics companies, prepare Hoosiers to succeed in the state’s largest industry sectors and maintain Indiana’s competitive advantage. For more information, go to

Media Contacts:

Charlene Hickey, Indiana Manufacturers Association, 317-552-9487

Laura Miller, Conexus Indiana, 317-332-3306