A new magazine series points out that Minnesota’s manufacturers face unexpectedly diverse opportunities and challenges
By Lynn Shelton
Enterprise Minnesota's Vice President of Marketing
(Lynn Shelton, vice president of marketing, Enterprise Minnesota)
Enterprise Minnesota® magazine’s new issue (out now) features the first of an ongoing series that examines regional differences in the circumstances faced by Minnesota’s manufacturers. No thinking person questions that manufacturers make significant economic contributions to their state and provide a meaningful impact to the cultures of their home communities. But not everyone comprehends that some manufacturers in one part of the state can encounter different opportunities and challenges—some quite significant—than their counterparts in other parts of the state.
We think that understanding these differences will help policy-makers, educators, and local economic development professionals become better partners and advocates in support of manufacturing.
We started with a focus on southeast Minnesota. William Morris, a talented writer who works for the Owatonna People’s Press, analyzed the part of Minnesota directly south and east of Mankato.
“From Winona and Houston counties on the Mississippi River to Rice County and the southern metro exurbs, business is booming in southeast Minnesota, but success comes with its own perils for the region's many manufacturers,” Morris wrote. “From the smallest towns to the big cities, companies are straining to keep up with growth, hampered by worker shortages, insurance premiums and more—some challenges familiar to companies all over the state, and others unique to the southeast region. Despite this, many manufacturers say they’re finding new ways to forge ahead in spite of those headwinds.
“It’s a good time, they say, to do business in southeast Minnesota … if you can find the workers to make it happen.”
He points out that there is only 1.1 person available for every job opening in the 11 counties that comprise Minnesota’s southeast region, the tightest job market in years. And that doesn’t mean that those 1.1 applicants will arrive with the specialized training or experience that manufacturers need. Manufacturers will tell you that it doesn’t. Morris writes that competition for qualified workers is particularly keen in the southeast where manufacturing represents 18 percent of private sector employment, compared to 13 percent for the state of the whole.
Morris digs deeply into the southeast’s manufacturing issues, in an illuminating and insightful way. I encourage everyone to read it. You can find it online here - Too Much Work, Too Few Hands.
Improving Your Continuous Improvement
**Exclusive to Manufacturers**
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Courtyard by Marriott
7800 Bloomington Ave S.
Bloomington, MN 55425
What to Expect
You may have integrated lean practices throughout your business, but are you empowering employees to see waste and eliminate it?
Greg Langfield, Enterprise Minnesota continuous improvement expert, will show you how to engage employees in eliminating waste, producing higher quality/volume products in less time, while maximizing productivity.
You will gain:
- Increased employee skills and behaviors that align with company values;
- Increased focus on value-added activities;
- Improved productivity company-wide; and
- Strengthened continuous improvement efforts.
This event is exclusive to manufacturers and is free of charge. Registration is required.
To register please contact email@example.com or call 612-455-4239