Founded in 1990, TSMA is a membership organization serving manufacturers in west central Minnesota and eastern North Dakota and South Dakota. The association was formed through a grass-roots effort of Minnesota manufacturers and North Dakota manufacturers wanting to accomplish more as a cohesive group than they could as individual, small companies. Membership has grown to include 180 companies.
TSMA’s manufacturing members are small companies, ranging in size from the one-man shop to a handful that have 300 to 400 employees.
TSMA’s manufacturing members are primarily involved in metal manufacturing, with plastics, textiles, woods and foods also represented. The majority are contract manufacturers, along with some OEM members.
TSMA also encourages membership from associate members – those who provide services of interest to the manufacturing community.
TSMA hosts general meetings on the first Tuesday of the month, with the location rotating between Alexandria, Fergus Falls, and other locations. The meetings typically consist of a meal, guest speaker and plant tour.
Several dozen members of Tri-State Manufacturers’ Association benefit from the Trifac Fund, a workers’ compensation self-insurance program launched in 1997.
In 2016, members also gained access to the Midwest Health Exchange, a program designed to increase options and ease the administrative burden related to employee benefits.
The association supports workforce development efforts, including an annual scholarship program and the Dream It. Do It. program in west central Minnesota.
Tri-State Manufacturers' Association is governed by a volunteer board of directors. Staffing is provided by Midwest Manufacturers’ Association, a “shared office” that provides administrative services for TSMA as well as Arrowhead Manufacturers & Fabricators Association (AMFA) and Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association (CMMA).