Have you hugged a Manufacturer today?

HodsonWhen you were going through middle school … what were you thinking about?

A ball game? A meet?
Someone of the opposite gender?
What your parents were going to say about your test grade?
Your weekend plans? The Love Boat was on Saturday night, followed by Fantasy Island!

Today’s young people are thinking about what they will do after high school. If you don’t have a student in middle school- let me clue you in…. they are taking personality tests, learning about industries they might be proficient in, learning more in classes about what might be a good secondary option for them. They start earlier, so they can choose classes to more closely relate to their potential field of study.

Now, It’s October! It’s Manufacturing Month! No longer is the manufacturing world filled with dirty, dingy and dangerous workplaces. In fact, if you were to visit a number of manufacturers in Hutchinson today, you would find, clean, well-lit and safe environments, filled with high tech gadgets.

So how did I go from today’s youth to manufacturing?

Right now, in Hutchinson and the state of Minnesota, we need more people skilled in the manufacturing fields. Welders, machine tooling and CAD (Computer Aided Design) to name a few. There is a shortage of college students taking these 1-2 year programs. This isn’t just for those “shop class” kids anymore- employers are looking for the STEM Students, (Science Technology Engineering Math), hands-on learners, and many more!

It isn’t just the need to let students know about these options, frankly, it’s also getting parents to know that these options are lower cost and pay the same or MORE than those students graduating with four year degrees. Lower cost… make more money…. true statement. As the city and state’s unemployment has gone down, so has the number of available people to work these very good, skilled jobs.

Our county has 78 manufacturers. In 2012, manufacturers paid $285,415,000 in payroll to their employees! Of all the industries in our area, manufacturing creates the most jobs, and tax revenue.   Hutchinson’s EDA, has worked to create a welcoming opportunity for more manufacturers to come to Hutchinson. “Minnesota’s Manufacturing City” has shovel-ready land, prepared and tested, so a business can begin building quickly after financing is arranged.

So… If you know someone who is wondering about their next step in life, you can suggest the wildly sought-after, well-paid manufacturing industry. Send them to Ridgewater College, to learn more about the educational opportunities, or direct them to the Chamber and we can provide more resources to learn about the opportunity to stay here in Hutchinson and live the life we all appreciate!

Now I won’t ask you to go out and give someone in manufacturing a hug; but perhaps say thank you, or take the time to learn more about what they are doing in our community.