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Editorial: We must all work to build workers

Minnesota manufacturers face the growing challenge of finding qualified workers to fulfill their needs and they are beginning to seek unique solutions.


 “... We cannot be complacent,” said Scott Peterson, executive vice president at Schwan Food Co. in Marshall., when addressing the Minnesota Manufacturers’ Summit this week.


 As the recession has eased, manufacturing all across the state has picked up, especially in agriculture, automotive and medical industries.


 The increased manufacturing demand is in turn creating company growth, but some jobs are going unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers, according to industry leaders.


 Manufacturing leaders were encouraged this week to get involved across the state at the high school level and higher to encourage young people to consider trades as a career.


 There is growing demand for welders, machinists and other trade positions across the state. The trades have also incorporated technology into a lot of positions requiring new skills, such as engineering to computer skills.


 West central and other Minnesota manufacturers are also facing competition from other growth regions, such as the North Dakota oil patch.


 Minnesota and its manufacturers need to develop public, private and publicprivate options for training tomorrow’s workers. It will be critical for the post-secondary systems and manufacturers to work together in addressing this issue.