It was interesting to see that last week’s Weekly Report generated such strong consensus that government can best help manufacturers wend through the weird instabilities in this COVID-era economy through public/private partnerships. And that starts with both sides of the political aisle listening to each other.
We experienced another instructive example of that during a couple recent company tours with Senator Eric Pratt and Representative Tony Albright. Both visited Federal Package in Chanhassen, and Sen. Pratt followed up with a visit to H&B Elevators in North Minneapolis.
We are delighted to broker the relationships between legislators and their manufacturer constituents. We’ve arranged more than 300 opportunities for legislators to tour the facilities of their local manufacturers. Our fascination with this process never ends. We started inviting elected officials to tour our client companies because it had become alarmingly clear that manufacturers and their elected officials had become experts in talking past one another. They knew each other from Rotary, or from church, or by attending the occasional chamber of commerce meeting. But many elected officials didn’t fully understand how those same people, operating out in the industrial parks on the fringe of town, had transformed their manufacturing companies into sophisticated global players, working in plants that were quite modern and clean, and home to an increasing number of high-tech, well-paid careers.
One topic of conversation centers around the Growth Acceleration Program (GAP). GAP produces a confluence of outcomes. The government needs to carefully marshal its resources—who isn’t asking for government money these days?—and manufacturers need help that is targeted to give them stability.
GAP results in a return on investment that is almost surreally impressive.
Consider this: The Legislature created GAP in 2008 to help manufacturers with 250 or fewer full-time employees. Since then, GAP has helped 433 companies achieve business results that have kept them in business and most often these companies are the best employers in their communities. Third party auditors have shown that GAP has generated an average $30-to-$1 return-on-investment. It has helped Minnesota manufacturers create and retain 12,566 jobs, boosted sales by $1.46 billion, and saved $206 million in business costs.
I can’t imagine a more appropriate program for the times.
All companies awarded GAP resources match at least $1 for every $1 of GAP investment.
Eligible companies include manufacturers or related industries with 250 or fewer full-time employees; they must be located in Minnesota, operate as independent profit centers, have a business plan for improvements, and demonstrate an economic need for GAP. These resources go toward business improvement services that increase job creation, job retention and business growth.
It’s easy to see why both parties in the Minnesota Legislature view GAP as a government investment that works.
In short, manufacturers give Minnesota’s policymakers fertile grounds for agreement when those political “gaps” have never seemed wider.
We also enjoy the fact that policymakers, educators, and local leaders have come to trust Enterprise Minnesota as a dependable connector of small and medium-sized manufacturers with their communities and, candidly, with their state.
Manufacturers will continue to make robust contributions to their local economies, especially with the assistance of the highly targeted, incredibly efficient GAP program.
January 27 – State of Manufacturing regional event: Moorhead
Join us in Moorhead as we bring the State of Manufacturing on the road. Great networking opporunity for manufacturers and industry stakeholders as we discuss the SOM results and what they mean for West Central Minnesota. In-person at the RiverHaven Events Center, Moorhead Learn more and register
February 9 – A Model for Manufacturing Excellence Using ISO 9001
ISO Certification and audit expert Keith Gadacz will be discussing the concepts of the business management system ISO 9001:2015 and how it can take your operation from average to excellent. Online via Zoom Learn more and register
February 16 – State of Manufacturing regional event: Owatonna
Join us in Owatonna as we bring the State of Manufacturing on the road. Great networking opporunity for manufacturers and industry stakeholders as we discuss the SOM results and what they mean for Southern Minnesota. In-person at the Owatonna Country Club, Owatonna Learn more and register
February 24 – Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement
Join us IN PERSON in North Branch, MN for a manufacturing workshop with expert Ally Johnston on ways to integrate lean thinking throughout your organization by developing a culture of continuous improvement. At Lakes Region EMS in North Branch Learn more and register
See more upcoming events
How Minnesota manufacturers have weathered supply chain disruptions
Minnesota-based companies who manufacture in the state say they fared fairly well, while navigating some challenges including raw material shortages, extended lead times and price volatility. January 15, WCCO Read more
Toro Company acquires Spartan Mowers maker for $400 million
Arkansas-based Intimidator Group has “strong brand recognition” in the South, Toro said. January 14, Star Tribune Read more
Marvin unveils major expansion plans for Fargo
The Warroad-based manufacturer will create about 150 jobs this year at a new distribution center and an additional plant in Fargo, ND. January 13, Twin Cities Business Read more
Douglas Machine’s expansion to receive tax help
The Alexandria City Council approved an economic development TIF request from Innovative Enterprises, which will be leasing manufacturing and warehouse property to Douglas Machine as part of their planned expansion. January 10, Alexandria Echo Press Read more
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