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USA - Communities see boom in export business

LAPORTE, IN — Despite the recent downturn in the economy, some local businesses aren't doing badly at all.

In fact, they're thriving.

Officials at Aero Metal Castings in LaPorte say they’ve hired more workers to keep up with demand from buyers overseas. And city officials say other local exporters are doing the same.

The reason: a weak U.S. dollar. It's making U.S. exports more competitive in the world market and communities around here are certainly seeing the effects.

"We’re very busy. We’re getting a lot of work over here,” said Mike Smith, who works in shipping at Aero.

“We’re seeing a lot of export business here just because we’re much more competitive than we used to be,” said Tim Gropp, Executive Director of the Greater LaPorte Economic Development Corporation.

"It gives us some competitive edge,” said Jim Fleming, of Aero. “But that swings back and forth. It’s not exactly a stable thing. So when you got the big cards you play them.”

From 2005 until last year, LaPorte County saw a 210 percent increase in export revenue.

Elkhart County saw a 92 percent increase and St. Joseph County saw a 13 percent jump, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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