Minnesota manufacturers optimistic about future growth

WILLMAR -- Despite some regional hiccups -- including in west central Minnesota's agriculture equipment sector -- the state's manufacturing industry is optimistic about continued growth.

WILLMAR --  Despite some regional hiccups -- including in west central Minnesota’s agriculture equipment sector --  the state’s manufacturing industry is optimistic about continued growth.

According to the results of a recent survey, 90 percent of Minnesota manufacturer are confident about their own company’s financial growth.

That’s the highest level ever in the eight years the survey has been taken, according to Bob Kill, president and CEO of  by Enterprise Minnesota, a consulting company that produced the survey.

Kill was in Willmar Friday to present the results of the survey, which included telephone interviews earlier this year with 400 manufacturers.

While confidence in their own company’s future is high, there’s an air of pessimism about the country’s economy, with 48 percent predicting a flat economy and 32 percent forecasting a year of economic expansion. About 15 percent said they believe the economy is headed to a recession.


“Overall, what the manufacturers control they feel pretty good about,” Kill said. “And what they don’t control, they’re concerned more this year than they have in the past.”

The biggest elephant in the room is the lack of a qualified workforce.

“The challenge of finding skilled and qualified workers has really accelerated to really become the number one issue across the state,” Kill said.

Read the full story in Saturday's West Central Tribune.

Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at or 320-894-9750
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