The Indiana Manufacturers Association has just finished surveying its members, which make up the state’s largest economic sector, are recuperating and continuing to manage through the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the survey, 63% of those surveyed indicated that they were mostly optimistic about their future operations. The 6-12 month outlook was primarily positive, with 31 percent Very Optimistic, 44% Optimistic, 21% Stable, and 5% Pessimistic. Ranking the 18-24 month outlook, respondents were also very positive, with 31% Very Optimistic, 46% Optimistic, 18% Stable, and 5% Pessimistic.

The main impediment to many businesses has been the ability to find qualified workers for open positions. Fifty-nine percent (59%) indicated that it has been tough to find qualified workers for open positions. And a whopping 84% responded yes when asked if the federal unemployment benefits had affected their ability to hire workers.

Regarding vaccinations, 25% stated they had taken no action, 74% indicated that they encourage employees to get vaccinated, and only 1% mandated vaccinations for all employees. In encouraging vaccination among employees, 38% of those surveyed offered paid time off, 6% offered extra sick days, 6% offered cash or other incentives, and 50% have employed other methods.

Regarding supply chain issues, 3% said supply chains were very reliable, 42% said they were experiencing some manageable delays, 40% said there are serious but manageable delays, and 15% stated that serious delays impact their businesses success.

Those manufacturers surveyed reported that 86% of employees are working fully in person. Five percent (5%) said that production personnel was the only in-person workers, and 9% stated they were phasing in non-production personnel. For those with employees still working from home, 65% stated that their timeline for return to in-person work was 1-2 months, 27% indicated in-person work would occur in the Fall of 2021, and 8% indicated in-person work would recommence in 2022.

Indy Politics spoke with IMA President Brian Burton to get his reaction to the survey’s results.  The Leon-Tailored Audio runs for about 18 minutes.