State of Manufacturing Event in Morris Recap
More than 50 people gathered in Morris on June 1 to attend one of several State of Manufacturing “reveal events” hosted by Enterprise Minnesota.
CEO Bob Kill provided the findings of the tenth annual survey. To say times are good for Minnesota Manufacturers would be an understatement. According to the tenth annual survey, manufacturers have a high level of optimism regarding revenues, profitabilty, investment in their company, and increased wages. The sobering counterweight to this enthusiasm is the anticipated workforce shortage.
Following Kill’s presentation, a three-person panel of local manufacturing representatives fielded questions. Scott Arndt, Director of Human Resources for Superior Industries, Inc., in Morris, said his company has implemented many initiatives to help attract and maintain a workforce. “We work with the tech schools in Wahpeton, Willmar and Alexandria,” he said. Superior has been involved with many local high schools in introducing students to manufacturing.
Arndt also pointed out how Superior helps those nearing retirement to “ease” out of the job. Superior gives workers an option of reducing their hours prior to leaving so that they can help mentor their replacement and get used to having more unstructured time.
Panelist Jasmine Sonmor, President/CEO of Aura Fabricators of Fergus Falls, addressed how her company recruits millennials, especially since Aura has almost doubled their work force in the last year. “It helps that I am a millennial,” she said. “I find millennials don’t always look at the big picture. So I want us to be the best company we can be and I invite them to be part of that growth. I want employees to feel they are assets on our team.”
Becoming more productive by embracing technology is a good growth strategy, said Ed Bolas, CFO of DyCast Specialties of Starbuck. He reflected on how his company has embraced new technologies to become more competitive. “Without automation, we couldn’t have the productivity we have,” he said, “We train in-house or bring trainers in so our current employees can use our new automation.”
Article credits to West Central Initiative.