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Activities slated in Willmar, Minn., for Manufacturing Week

WILLMAR -- High school students from Kandiyohi County and surrounding school districts will have the opportunity to "Discover Manufacturing" on Tuesday at the second annual manufacturing showcase hosted at the MinnWest Technology Campus.

"Discover Manufacturing" highlights the manufacturing industry in Kandiyohi County and recognizes Minnesota Manufacturing Week Oct. 22-26.

According to a news release, Kandiyohi County is home to 75 manufacturers with more than 3,200 employees who collectively earned just under $130 million in 2011. Manufacturing businesses accounted for 17 percent of total wages in Kandiyohi County in 2011 and have a constant demand for skilled, semi-skilled and entry-level employees.

Attending the event gives students the chance to discover what local manufacturers do, the skills that are in high demand and local employment opportunities that could be available to them when they complete their post-secondary education.

Among the companies participating by offering a tour of their facility, giving a presentation or acting as a sponsor are: West Central Steel, Nova-Tech Engineering, Jennie-O Turkey Store (Research and Development), Epitopix, Buhler Versatile Inc., Relco Inc., Willmar Fabrication, Prinsco Inc., Bushmills Ethanol, Cub Foods and McDonald's.

In conjunction with Minnesota Manufacturing Week, New London-Spicer High School also will host the Minnesota BEST (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology) robotics competition Oct. 26-27. Eight area teams will participate, with the winner moving on to the regional contest. The event is open to the public.