Guest Column: Manufacturing represents 1 in 9 jobs in Minnesota

Published 9:52 pm Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Guest Column by Noelle Hagen

Noelle Hagen


Manufacturers are in the spotlight in October. With Manufacturing Week spanning from Oct. 1-7, many events and tours were held across Minnesota. Manufacturers across the state opened their doors to students and the public for tours and talks about skills required and the lucrative job opportunities available.

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In Minnesota, manufacturing represents one in nine jobs, supports a payroll of $21 billion and contributed over $49.2 billion to the state’s economy in 2017, according to the Star Tribune. Factories across the state are challenged to attract more workers as fewer students prepare to take factory jobs than they had in past decades. In Albert Lea, the schools have partnered with local manufacturers (and other businesses) to offer apprenticeships, learning opportunities and unique opportunities to learn what a career in manufacturing may look like.

In honor of manufacturing week, Albert Lea High School students had the opportunity to tour Minnesota Corrugated Box and Lou Rich Inc. Through the tours, students got a close-up view of what a job is like at each plant and the products the plants create. They also had the opportunity to hear from employees why they enjoy their jobs and what students should consider when considering a job in their field.

We, at Albert Lea Economic Development Agency, would like to give a special thank you to our local manufacturers for the jobs and benefits they provide our community.

ALEDA serves as the mechanism where the county, city and private sector work together for economic development in Albert Lea and Freeborn County. Our mission is “to provide and promote services and resources to retain, expand, create and attract businesses, increase tax base and create quality employment opportunities in Freeborn County.”

If you have any questions about economic development in Albert Lea and Freeborn County, you can reach us at 507-373-3930 or

Noelle Hagen is the interim executive director of the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency.