Iowa is known primarily as a farm state, so the enduring strength of our industrial base would surprise many Americans, reports CNN Money. In fact, Iowa has more than 200 manufacturers more than 100 years old and is home to more than 6,100 small-to-medium-sized manufacturers. CNN’s report draws on an Iowa State University study showing that manufacturing accounts for 18 percent of the state’s GDP, second only to financial activity. What keeps Iowa manufacturers going? Four companies past the century mark credited being small and nimble, a strong work ethic, high education levels, community investment, competitive wages, Iowa engineering talent and a knowledgeable and loyal workforce that drives innovation and creativity.