The week of Oct. 20-26, is Minnesota Manufacturers Week, which is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Economic Development, the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association, www.mpma .com; Dream It, Do It, www.dreamitdoitmn.com; and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, mnchamber.com. In collaboration we mark the week with special events recognizing the economic importance of the manufacturing sector.
On a state level, manufacturing businesses can participate in a statewide tour of manufacturing in which the public can get tours of the modern facilities and variety of job opportunities. Today's manufacturing employee is highly skilled and often uses advanced technology and computer-controlled equipment. Manufacturing contributes $37 billion to the state economy and represents 15 percent of our gross domestic product.
Regionally, manufacturing plays an important role by being the largest employing segment in south central and southwestern Minnesota while representing 18.2 percent of all regional jobs in 2011. In the past year the manufacturing segment in southwest Minnesota increased 3 percent, which is three time faster than the total of all the other segments (.8 percent).
Locally, Sleepy Eye is blessed with a wide variety of manufacturing jobs that employ a large percent of Sleepy Eye citizens and other areas which draw people to Sleepy Eye. Each year the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors recognizes outstanding businesses that are contributors to the Minnesota economy, are committed to making Minnesota a better place to live and work, and have improved or increased technology needs in the workplace. It is with great pleasure to share with you, the 2013 award winner is Schwartz Farms Inc. They will be acknowledged in October for their achievement.
Thank you to all manufacturing businesses for what you do for the betterment of your employees, the local economy and being the "backbone" of the Sleepy Eye economy.