Students from Hutchinson Middle School and High School learn about jobs in manufacturing on a tour at MITGI

Minnesota kicks off Manufacturers Week

Manufacturing facilities across the state will host plant tours and educational events between Oct. 19 and 25

By Valerie Engler
Monday, October 20, 2014

Last year, Minnesota’s manufacturing industry contributed over $43 billion to the state's economy and employed over 300,000 workers. So it’s no wonder Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed Oct. 19-25 Manufacturers Week.

Sponsored by both the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and the Dream it! Do it! campaign, the week is full of manufacturing plant tours and educational programs aimed to spread awareness about the industry.

“Manufacturing accounts for one in nine jobs in the state, and each manufacturing job supports nearly two additional jobs elsewhere in the economy through supplier purchases and employee spending,” DEED Commissioner Katie Clark said in a statement. “It’s crucial that we continue to support our manufacturers that are key to the overall health and growth of the Minnesota economy.”

While many manufacturers are taking advantage of the increased attention this week, plant tours and overall industry education is important year round.

We’re not doing enough,” Richard Wagner, president of Dunwoody College of Technology, recently told Minnesota Business. “We need to be doing more to help students find ways into these great careers.”

Last week, Hutchinson manufacturers, the Hutchinson Economic Development Authority, and the Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce partnered to host a small version of the state’s larger manufacturing campaign. Dubbed the “Made in McLeod tours,” area students spent Oct. 15 touring Hutchinson manufacturing facilities like Midwest Industrial Tool Grinding, Inc., Redline Systems, and Stamp N Storage.

“Manufacturing is a big part of Hutchinson,” Lee Miller, economic development director of the Hutchinson Economic Development Authority, said in a statement.  “For years, manufacturers have been telling us that there is a shortage of skilled workers and that developing a pipeline for talented employees is a top priority. We decided to coordinate the event to help showcase the wide spectrum of manufacturers in the area and to help middle and high school students see what manufacturing is like first hand.” 

To learn more about the state's initiative to bring awareness to manufacturing, click here.