The coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. continues to accelerate, sending a shock wave through the economy at large, upending multiple industries, and shining a spotlight on the critical role U.S. manufacturers play in meeting the needs of this growing crisis.
For those looking to make contact with industrial companies, COVID-19 has been a gamechanger.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers, 53.1% of U.S. manufacturers expect a change in operations due to COVID-19. Who is open? Who is closed down?
Many manufacturers have idled production as states move to close all “non-essential” businesses, while others have pivoted sharply, retooling their facilities to produce lifesaving equipment like masks and ventilators.
Still others remain open and many are ramping up production, having been classified as vital to “critical infrastructure.” But which industries does this classification apply to?
This article will examine the specific manufacturing industries that are still up and running in the time of coronavirus.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for determining the nation’s “critical infrastructure sectors.”
The CISA identifies sixteen critical infrastructure sectors which are deemed of such vital importance to the United States that they required to remain in operation, even in the face of extraordinary and destructive events like the coronavirus outbreak.
The critical infrastructure sectors determined by CISA are as follows:
• Commercial Facilities
• Critical Manufacturing
• Defense Industrial Base
• Emergency Services
• Financial Services
• Government Facilities
• Healthcare & Public Health
• Information Technology
• Nuclear Reactors, Materials & Waste
• Transportation Systems
• Water and Wastewater
These vital sectors are keeping America running right now, and this includes a considerable range of manufacturing subsectors.
Next, we’ll take a look at what specific subsectors are still in production.
Manufacturing is especially crucial right now, with the American public in dire need of medical supplies, food products, household products and more.
Some of these industry sub-sectors are found under the “Critical Manufacturing” division as defined by the CISA, while others are found in other divisions such as chemicals, energy and agriculture.
First, let’s explore what specific industry subsectors are considered “critical manufacturing. ”
The CISA has identified four distinct subsectors that are considered vital components of the supply chain, serving multiple other critical infrastructure such as defense and agriculture.
1. Primary Metals. Specifically:
• Iron and steel mills, including ferro alloy manufacturing.
• Aluminum Production & processing.
• Nonferrous Metal Production/Processing
According to IndustrySelect’s database of 400,000 U.S. manufacturers, there are roughly 5,500 companies in the U.S. that produce and process these types of primary metals
2. Machinery Manufacturing. Specifically:
• Engine & Turbine
• Power & Transmission Equipment Manufacturing
• Earth Moving, Mining, Agricultural, and Construction Equipment Manufacturing
3,982 U.S. companies operate in this powerful subsector, according to IndustrySelect.
3. Electrical Equipment, Appliance & Component Manufacturing
• Electric Motor Manufacturing
• Transformer Manufacturing
• Generator Manufacturing
4. Transportation Equipment Manufacturing
• Vehicles and Commercial Ships Manufacturing
• Aerospace Products and Parts Manufacturing
• Locomotives, Railroad and Transit Cars and Rail Track Equipment Manufacturing
IndustrySelect lists and updates the thousands of manufacturers in the above two sectors. Check out their
The four sectors listed above are vital components of the supply chain, but there are several additional industries found under other critical subsectors.
The chemical sector under the CISA is described as thousands of facilities that convert raw materials into a wide range of products used by the public, such as cleaning or personal care products.
These include manufacturers of these five main segments:
• Basic Chemicals
• Specialty Chemicals
• Agricultural Chemicals
• Consumer Products
The Defense Industrial Base Sector is described by the CISA as a “worldwide industrial complex” involved in everything from R&D and communications to the maintenance of military weapons systems.
It also includes any entity producing weapons or components/parts used to “mobilize, deploy and sustain military operations.
These would include weapons and defense systems manufacturers, shipbuilders and military aircraft manufacturers.
Under this broad category, the CISA lists restaurants, farms and food storage facilities. Central to this vital sector, however, are food manufacturers.
According to IndustrySelect, there are currently 22,485 food manufacturers currently in the U.S. Many are open and ramping up production as demand for food products surges.
The energy sector is arguably one of the most essential sectors, responsible for everything from keeping the lights to fueling travel to helping businesses stay connected.
In addition, virtually all other critical sectors rely on the energy sector.
The CIS divides critical energy infrastructure into three distinct segments: electricity, oil and natural gas. A wide range of facilities fall into these categories, including coal processing plants, nuclear and power plants, hydroelectric plants.
According to IndustrySelect’s Global Energy Industry Business Database, there are roughly 69,000 of these types of locations in the U.S., including those involved in electric generation, transmission & distribution; exploration and production.
The transportation sector is also critical to the nation’s infrastructure, responsible for the transport of crucial supplies across supply chains.
The key subsectors identified by CISA are as follows:
• Highway and Motor Carrier
• Maritime Transportation System
• Mass Transit and Passenger Rail
• Pipeline Systems
• Freight Rail
• Postal and Shipping
The critical transportation sector includes vital systems and services, but also encompasses manufacturers that supply the sector, including aircraft manufacturers
Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, manufacturers have needed to quickly evolve to meet the demands of the growing crisis.
While some have idled production, others are retooling to produce lifesaving materials. Meanwhile, manufacturers in specific subsectors are cranking up production to support and supply the nation’s critical infrastructure.
For those looking to reach out to manufacturing companies, its crucial to know which industry subsectors are still up and running.
Looking to get in touch with U.S. industrial companies? Access IndustrySelect's live database of 400,000 U.S. manufacturers and 100,000 global energy industry locations, updated in real time, fully exportable, with direct executive emails and ability to drill down to the data you need, including industry sub-sector.
Click here to try out a free demo.