The State of Manufacturing
In 2008 we created the State of Manufacturingâ„¢ poll to illustrate how Minnesota manufacturers view their industry, their companies and their communities in ways that would showcase the value of manufacturing to the state.
We thought, correctly, that it would provide a forum for manufacturers to share experiences, as well as communicate important information about manufacturing to others. We've seen participation in focus groups go from 80 manufacturers in 2009 to more than 200 manufacturers in
2011; and, attendance at poll release events has grown to an anticipated 800 at seven events this year. Clearly, the appetite for relevant information about issues affecting the manufacturing job-creating engine is palpable.
Pollster Rob Autry characterized the tenor of last year's discussions, as "sunshine on a cloudy day." Today, you'll see in the research that manufacturers are quietly bullish that good days lay ahead. There may be a few clouds on the economic horizon - health care continues
to be a big concern -- but there is also an abundance of sunshine, with many companies now well positioned for growth.
The State of Manufacturingâ„¢ is a time-consuming and expensive project that has achieved considerable success at many levels thanks to a wide collaboration with many sponsors and allies.
Autry, our pollster, is a partner at Public Opinion Strategies, one of America's top public affairs survey research companies. Our State of Manufacturing strategic consultant and project manager is Mason Public Affairs, a Twin Cities public relations and public affairs firm.
Others have provided additional contributions of time and treasure. Our six statewide sponsors this year include RJF Agencies, Inc., Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, the Center for Rural Policy and Development, Granite Equity Partners, Gray Plant Mooty, and M&I Bank.
This year's regional sponsors are Abdo, Eick & Meyers LLP, and the Blandin Foundation.
Our focus group sponsors this year include the St. Paul Port Authority, the Metalcasting Industry of Minnesota, the Printing Industry of Minnesota, USDA Rural Development, APICS, the Port Authority of Winona, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, United Prairie Bank, the
Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association, Productivity, Inc., the Tri-State Manufacturers' Association, and LarsonAllen LLP.
Though its focus is Minnesota, the State of Manufacturingâ„¢ may now be affecting the U.S. manufacturing industry as a whole. Earlier this year, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) awarded Enterprise Minnesota with the Group Innovator of the Year award based in part
on the work that we (along with all our partners) have done on the State of Manufacturingâ„¢. Thank you for your dedication to highlighting the value of Minnesota manufacturing to other Minnesotans, and to the nation.