The Power Behind the Opinions of Minnesota's Manufacturers
BY BOB KILL
In the January/February issue of Enterprise Minnesota magazine, I noted in my editorial that for anyone interested in Minnesota's manufacturing industry, the 2010 State of Manufacturing book is a must read. Nearly 500 manufacturers validated this sentiment by attending our
poll release rollouts. This clearly demonstrates that the real power of this information is only unleashed when it is shared directly with manufacturers and those who have a stake in the industry's success.
To complement our quantitative survey data, more than 150 manufacturing executives participated in 14 focus groups around Minnesota--more than double the number of focus groups we conducted in 2009. Participation levels were equally elevated. This is in part due to the
enthusiastic and selfless support from business groups, notably the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association, Printing Industry of Minnesota, Inc., the Southwest Initiative Foundation, the Saint Paul Port Authority, United Prairie Bank, Iron Range Resources, Productivity Inc.
and Minnesota Bank & Trust.
The numbers were impressive, and so was the quality of the focus group discussions. Manufacturers were forthright, passionate and insightful in their comments on a variety of topics, including recruiting skilled workers, health care costs, the effect of tight credit and policy
in Washington, D.C.
The high-quality media coverage of our poll events--including a front-page story in the Pioneer Press and a front-page business section piece in the Star Tribune--shows people are rediscovering manufacturing as the true economic engine driving Minnesota's economy. You'll see
what I mean when you visit this link:
We also are appreciative of Minnesota state legislators' keen interest in The State of Manufacturing. Last year, we testified about our poll and manufacturing issues before legislative committees on several occasions. This year, Enterprise Minnesota was asked to give a
briefing about the 2010 poll before the results were released.
Members of Minnesota's congressional delegation also have shown impressive bipartisan interest in the poll findings. So much so that, per their request, we have already scheduled next year's rollout for Feb. 22, 2011. We hope that you, too, will join us.
If you didn't have a chance to see our 2010 results, and your organization is interested in learning more, please feel free to contact me for more information at Bob.firstname.lastname@example.org.