Enterprise Minnesota's CEO Highlights Qualified Worker Shortage, Health Care and Mood of Uncertainty
Enterprise Minnesota President and CEO Bob Kill last week told bankers and bank regulators at the Minnesota Federal Reserve that he expected the worker shortage and continued high costs of health care to again dominate the State of Manufacturing® survey research project, which will begin interviews next week.
He said that nearly six out of 10 (58 percent) manufacturing executives last year considered attracting qualified workers to their companies a challenge in the 2012 poll, up from 45 percent in 2011.
"The chronic shortage of qualified workers is becoming more than a strategic inconvenience for manufacturers," Kill said, adding that immediate vocational and technical training is only one part of the solution. "We, as a culture, have to work harder to help middle and high-school teachers and counselors communicate to their students that there are challenging and well-paying jobs in manufacturing."
Kill added that a lack of qualified workers and rising health care costs paired with fiscal cliff and debt-ceiling worries has made manufacturers gun-shy about reinvesting in their businesses.
"Manufacturers are well positioned to grow, but they are nervous about placing that bet," Kill said. "They aren't investing in equipment or new products because they just don't know what economic environment they will experience in six months or a year or two years. The conservative play is just to do nothing."
Kill also highlighted manufacturers' positive effect on Minnesota communities. As the state's third-largest industry, manufacturing employs almost 300,000 people and pays an average $56,328 in annual compensation, 20 percent higher than the average wage for all industries. Kill added that manufacturing also sparks jobs in supporting industries, accounting for an estimated one in three jobs in Minnesota. He added that in-person company tours have helped many Minnesotans to realize manufacturing's economic value and high-tech nature.
Visitors "are impressed by the high skills required of many manufacturing jobs and alarmed to learn that so many high-paying manufacturing jobs sit unfilled because they can't find potential employees with adequate training," Kill said. "And they are astonished at the intricate, highly sophisticated inter-relationships that comprise the modern manufacturing supply chain."
To learn more about the State of Manufacturing survey research project, visit www.stateofmanufacturing.com. Register now to attend the State of Manufacturing rollout April 18 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Proactive Marketing for Manufacturers - A Business Growth Strategy
Wednesday, March 13
7225 Northland Drive N. Suite 300
Cost: Early Bird $79 by Feb. 26; Regular $119
What to Expect:
out how a defined, strategic marketing plan can drive your business
growth and profitability. This is a must-go-to business event for anyone
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company's strategic plan and overall bottom line.
Ramon Hernandez, Customer Service Manager
Kirk Knudtson, President & Owner
Lori Tapani, Co-President
Duluth Company Plans to Add 85 Jobs, Nearly Doubling Payroll
St. Louis County commissioners approved applying for a state Department of Employment and Economic Development loan for Altec HiLine LLC, the Duluth company that makes long-boom lift trucks.The Birmingham, Ala.-based company now has about 90 employees at the Duluth facility and plans to add 85 with the current expansion.
Lind-Rite Named TSMA Member of the Year
Tri-State Manufacturers' Association (TSMA) recently announced Lind-Rite Precision as the TSMA 2012 Member of the Year.
Retrofit Purchases Old Owatonna Walmart Building
The Retrofit Companies have purchased the old Owatonna Walmart building and plan to move its operations to the Hoffman Drive location in 2013, company officials said.
Enterprise Minnesota Looking for Business Growth Consultant
Enterprise Minnesota is seeking a talented business professional to join its statewide team.
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