Your Chance to Weigh In

The Weekly Report – August 28, 2023
Registration is now open to participate in the 2023 State of Manufacturing® focus groups.

Here are three reasons to join one of them: they enhance the data gathered in the survey; they give manufacturers a chance to explain the challenges they face; and they allow participants to come together in a confidential setting, renew friendships, and perhaps make new connections.

It’s year 15 for our State of Manufacturing® survey, and our pollster is currently in the field interviewing manufacturing executives. As in other years we’ll conduct thirteen hour-long focus groups around the state in September and October, giving manufacturers a chance to share their insights and provide a qualitative complement to the quantitative data gathered in the survey. These events let executives describe the challenges they face and their expectations about the coming year.

Please do participate. All focus group conversations are completely confidential, and participants will not be named in Enterprise Minnesota publications or promotions, so participants can–and do–speak candidly. The information and insight gathered in each focus group is included in the presentation of the survey data at our statewide release event and following that, at events in each of the six initiative foundation regions.

We’ll also publish information from the focus groups in the winter issue of Enterprise Minnesota® magazine.

In last year’s survey manufacturers expressed deep concerns about attracting and retaining talented workers. One participant detailed his experience: “We’re trying to create a great workplace culture, an interesting place to work in the manufacturing industry, and offer flexibility. But you can only stretch so far. I do know that the state of Minnesota needs to get better at recruiting people to come live in this state.” 

Past participants say they enjoy the process. “I just wish more of my manufacturing peers would take the time to come and share their opinions,” said one. “Everything is usually so transactional, as it should be, but we never really sit back and essentially put our feet up and share notes.”

Another said, “You hear some really novel ideas about how people in this resilient industry are rising to meet their challenges.” What’s more, he added, participants don’t temper their comments because they might be talking in front of competitors. “They think, what can I learn about how others have addressed their issues? And maybe I have some ideas as well to help others.”

We’re confident that, like these participants, you’ll think it is an hour well spent, and we would be delighted to have you join us.

Please register below and join us in one of these locations: Montevideo, Duluth, Pine City, Alexandria, Brooklyn Park, Winona, North Mankato, Minneapolis, St. Cloud, Thief River Falls, Roseau, and two virtual focus groups via Zoom.

Please register here.

Upcoming Events

Find upcoming manufacturing events and workshops on our Events page.

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