You’ve no doubt heard a lot about proposals to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour.

While the effort ultimately failed, the discussion got us thinking about the great wages many manufacturers pay in Minnesota and across the nation.

Manufacturing jobs in Minnesota pay an average annual wage of $68,081, which is 16% higher than the state’s overall average wage. Manufacturers provide 324,000 highly skilled, well-paying jobs in Minnesota, which significantly contribute to the state’s high standard of living and economic vitality.

A quick glance at job listings shows wages well above the state average.

An asphalt roofing material manufacturer in Shakopee is paying up to $29 per hour for production operators. A manufacturer of custom concrete products in St. Cloud is offering up to $28 per hour. An iron foundry in Mankato is offering $22 per hour to join its production team.

And there are many more.

Enterprise Minnesota proudly helps manufacturers create those jobs. In the last five years alone, we have helped more than 510 Minnesota manufacturers grow and create jobs by guiding them to greater efficiency and helping them shrewdly plan for the future. These companies have invested over $289 million in modernization, added or retained 6,600 jobs, increased sales by more than $696 million and reduced costs by $131 million.

When people are paid better and treated well, they’re much more likely to stay. And the longer they stay, the less likely it becomes that the company has to sink money into replacing them, training the new hires and bringing them up to the level of the person who left. Paying people better wages contributes to profitability.

Wage levels aren’t likely to change, either. While we celebrate the competitive wages, we lament the fact that so many manufacturers in Minnesota still struggle with workforce issues. In parts of the state where there just aren’t enough bodies to fill all the vacant jobs, a competitive wage can only go so far to filling vacancies.

It’s important that so many manufacturers are already proactively contributing to a prosperous economy. Workers took home $22.1 billion in wages from Minnesota manufacturing jobs in 2019, the second-largest total payroll among private sector industries.

We think that’s worth celebrating.

Read more about Minnesota’s great manufacturing companies in the Spring 2021 issue of Enterprise Minnesota® magazine

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Events Calendar

March 30 – Investing in Your People to Create Leaders at All Levels
Talent and Leadership expert Abbey Hellickson will be discussing how to determine and develop leadership competencies in your organization to help foster a company culture of growth and resilience. Online via Zoom  Learn more and register

April 8 – How to Manage a High Performing Business: ISO
Learn the key elements of effective business management systems and the value of ISO 9001:2015 certification from expert David Ahlquist. Online via Zoom  Learn more and register

April 14 – Profiting from Revenue Growth
Our top strategy and revenue growth expert Steve Haarstad will show you how to understand and define business growth for your company and create a Seven-Step Action Plan to get there. Online via Zoom  Learn more and register

See more upcoming events

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Industry News

Chuck Tryon named new president of Bushel Boy Farms
One of the Midwest’s leading producers of fresh, local, greenhouse-grown produce, Bushel Boy Farms has named Chuck Tryon president of its operations in Owatonna, Minnesota and Mason City, Iowa. Mar. 11, Valdosta Daily Times  Read more

Boston Scientific to expand its Maple Grove, Minn. campus
Medical device maker Boston Scientific is planning a new 76,000 sq. ft building on its MN campus that will support expanded nitinol stent manufacturing. Construction is expected to start later this year. Mar. 8, MassDevice.com  Read more

Brainerd-area apprenticeship program offers real work experience 
Eight students from Pequot Lakes and Pillager are participating in this year’s program, funded by The Bernick Family Foundation. Mar. 7, Brainerd Dispatch  Read more

Technology and connections help Willmar manufacturer grow  
By relying on high tech innovation and local relationships, Nova-Tech Engineering has grown and thrived despite travel restrictions and worker shortages. Mar. 7, Bemidji Pioneer  Read more

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