I could not find recent statistics in where we rank in steel and limestone production, but the Indiana Geological Survey reports we produce 2.7 million cubic feet of limestone annually. The Great Lakes region of steel production that includes Chicago and Northwest Indiana produced 676,000 tons of raw steel in a recent week in October.
How educated are we?
Indiana ranks 43rd in people with bachelors degrees, 44th in total degrees, but we rank 14th nationally in college enrollment with 457,824 students in 2012, and we rank eighth in in out-of-state students. U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Notre Dame, No. 17; Purdue University – West Lafayette, No. 65; Indiana University – Bloomington, No. 83; and Ball State University, No. 184.
We have a natural advantage in location (80 percent of the U.S. population is within a day’s drive at applicable speed limits), great resources, fertile soil, world-class universities, a love of the automobile, and a great upside. The key to our success is to forge a better educated and prepared workforce.
Brian Howey, a Peru native, is the publisher of The Howey Political Report. He can be reached at www.howeypolitics.com. Find him on Twitter @hwypol.