Collaborative, Not Transactional

The Weekly Report – March 29, 2022
Community partnerships form a bedrock for finding future employees.

As we’ve been presenting our State of Manufacturing® survey results around the state over the last several weeks, we’ve heard from a broad coalition of manufacturers, economic developers at the state and local level, educators, grant organizations, and other business industries. The conversations and ideas exchanged amongst attendees have offered real-world solutions to Minnesota’s employee shortage.

At our most recent event held in Becker, DEED representatives talked about getting kids as early as junior high school age to tour manufacturing companies so they can see the amazing products that are made in Minnesota. While not a new idea, it’s a helpful reminder that to gain the mindshare of young people, we need to offer them a reason why going into manufacturing is a good career choice.

In Owatonna, we heard how the local high school is partnering directly with area manufacturers to develop curriculum for on-the-job training coursework. These types of forward-thinking partnerships yield dividends, not just for the manufacturers involved, but for the industry and region, because they expose young people to the great careers offered by manufacturers.

In a recent conversation for Enterprise Minnesota® magazine, Bob Kill, our president & CEO, spoke with Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra, who also emphasized the value of working collaboratively, not transactionally, with schools.

“The most beneficial relationships are more transformative — for example, manufacturers form partnerships with their local college or university and help shape curriculum or provide access to the latest technology to ensure graduates have the skills manufacturers need,” he said. Read the full story here.

Manufacturers who are looking for people may also find grants and other funding to help with training and onboarding non-traditional employees such as people coming out of the military and folks who have recently come out of prison after serving their time. Check with your local initiative foundation to learn more.

A Gallup study shows that employees who are engaged and receive good communication are more likely to show up for work, will have increased productivity, and have fewer safety incidents. Our own talent and leadership experts say that taking time to evaluate the onboarding experience and pathways for employee development can be helpful for employee retention and potential new hires, and often generates positive ripple effects throughout the entire organization, whereby employees recommend their company to their friends as a great place to work.

Learn more about Enterprise Minnesota’s talent and leadership offerings.

Events Calendar

March 30 – State of Manufacturing: Duluth
Open to all manufacturers and supporters of manufacturing.
In-person at Lake Superior College

April 5 – State of Manufacturing: Thief River Falls
Open to all manufacturers and supporters of manufacturing.
In-person at Northland Community & Technical College

April 26 – Investing in Your People to Create Leaders at All Levels
Talent & leadership manufacturing workshop. Exclusive to manufacturers. Online via Zoom

May 19 – Profiting from Revenue Growth
Strategy & revenue growth workshop. Exclusive to manufacturers. Online via Zoom

Industry News

Polaris breaks ground on $22 million robotic paint factory in Roseau
March 25, Star Tribune

More food manufacturing could unlock billions for MN economy
March 25, Star Tribune

Minnesota reports lowest unemployment since 1999
March 24, Duluth News Tribune

Experts discuss key economic issues at Midwest Economic Outlook Summit
March 24, Fargo-Moorhead Globe

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