The State of Manufacturing: Updates for 2019

A push for manufacturing in the Northland coincides with the release of new reports on the industry this May.

Demand for qualified candidates within manufacturing fields continues to rise. TheĀ Duluth News Tribune reported in a May 7 article that over 7,700 people in St. Louis, Douglas, and Carlton counties are currently employed in manufacturing fields, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). But that number could be far higher.

“There’s a big need for skilled machinists and welders in almost every facility,” president of the Arrowhead Manufacturers and Fabricators Association (AMFA) Jim Petruga told the DNT. “[A]t virtually all of them, you’re going to see a sign out front asking for welders.”

Lake Superior College in Duluth has seen a rise in its Machine Tool Technology Program (from 146 students in 2012 to 275 students in 2018) and job placement for LSC programs is close to 100 percent, the DNT reports.

A new study released by Chicago-based West Monroe Partners suggests that “early education and awareness of manufacturing careers drives interest” in career opportunities within the industry. The survey interviewed 1,000 Minnesota workers between the ages of 18 and 40 and solicited perspectives on the manufacturing industry. It concluded that the majority of young Minnesotans perceive the industry positively.

Minnesota’s Annual State of Manufacturing Report will present the results of their 2019 survey on regional manufacturing at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on May 14. Survey results specifically regarding manufacturing in Northeast Minnesota will be covered in a separate event on June 20 at the Kitchi Gammi Club in Duluth. Both events are open to manufacturers and everyone connected to the manufacturing industry including educators, elected officials, economic development professionals, granting agencies, and members of the media.

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