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Celebrating Minnesota Manufacturers

Manufacturing Month is coming to a close, but employment opportunities continue – DEED’s #GoodJobsNow campaign will continue to highlight hiring across the state

ST. PAUL – Throughout the month of October, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has been celebrating the critical role manufacturing plays in our state’s economy and drawing attention the many great employment opportunities in the sector. This diverse, technology-driven sector contributed over $52.7 billion to the state’s economy last year, is the state’s second largest industry by employment, and is the largest industry sector as measured by its share of the state’s gross domestic product at 14% in 2019.

Minnesota’s manufacturers make a diverse range of products from food to machinery to medical devices. Close to half of Minnesota’s Fortune 500 companies are involved in manufacturing, including 3M, CHS, General Mills, Land O’Lakes, Ecolab, Hormel Foods and Polaris. The state exported $21 billion in manufactured products in 2019 to countries around the world.

Minnesota’s 8,270 manufacturers employed nearly 324,000 workers in 2019, with an average annual wage of $68,081 – that’s 16% higher than the average wage across all industries in the state. Over the coming months and years, manufacturing will continue to be essential to Minnesota’s economic recovery and long-term strength.

“Many Minnesota manufacturers are hiring now, and they offer good-paying, family-sustaining jobs,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “All month, we’ve focused our efforts on getting the word out to Minnesotans looking for work now: explore the many promising employment opportunities in manufacturing.”

Throughout October, manufacturers across the state offered virtual tours to students and others interested in learning more about manufacturing careers. Governor Tim Walz, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan and Commissioner Grove visited manufacturing facilities in Duluth, Rochester, Mountain Iron, Bloomington and Fridley and engaged in several virtual roundtables with manufacturers from around the state.

The skilled labor shortage was a challenge for manufacturers long before the pandemic, and it remains a hurdle today despite relatively high unemployment. During one of these virtual visits with manufacturers, Joel Bauer, co-owner of Midsota Manufacturing in Avon, remarked, “I’ve hired 26 new employees over the past two months, and I could have hired 26 more if I’d had the applicants.”   

To help highlight the high-quality employment opportunities currently available, many of them in manufacturing, DEED launched #GoodJobsNow during Manufacturing Month. #GoodJobsNow is an interactive set of resources connecting Minnesota employers hiring right now with job seekers looking for work.

Manufacturing month kicked off with the Governor’s proclamation of Minnesota Manufacturing Week on October 1 and wraps up tomorrow, but Minnesotans interested in learning more about manufacturing can still access a lot of great information about this sector in the manufacturing overview on DEED’s website.


DEED is the state's principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website or follow us on Twitter.


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