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More than 540,000 Indiana workers employed in lightweighting-related jobs

ArcelorMittal's S-in motion designs for light vehicles. More than 540,000 Indiana workers employed in lightweighting-related jobs — jobs related to making vehicles lighter and more fuel efficient.

A new study found more than 540,000 Indiana workers are employed in advanced manufacturing jobs related to "lightweighting," the push to make cars and other vehicles lighter and more fuel-efficient.

Detroit-based LIFT, or Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow, found lightweighting employment in Indiana grew by 30 percent in the third quarter to reach its highest level since 2001. It's up nearly 50 percent since 2012.

The industry trend has taken hold at Northwest Indiana's steel mills, which have focused on producing more advanced high strength steels to help automakers reach emissions targets and cater to consumer demand for better gas mileage.

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“As demand for advanced manufacturing jobs continues to climb, the need for talent development in Indiana and the rest of our nation is imperative,” said Emily DeRocco, vice president of education and workforce for LIFT. “Developing new ways to address these workforce needs by engaging both industry and academia will be the key to our country’s long-term economic prosperity.”

An estimated 37,384 jobs were posted in advanced manufacturing fields related to lightweighting in the third quarter. Jobs most in demand included maintenance and repair workers, first-line production supervisors, operating workers, industrial engineers, first-line transportation supervisors, material moving workers, laborers and freight, stock and material movers.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.