October 4, 2019 – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz joined the Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce Manufacturing CoHort, celebrating National Manufacturing Day while kicking off National Manufacturing Month with Safety Speed Manufacturing at our factory. Minnesota’s Department of Labor and Industry (Minnesota DLI) also played a key role in this celebration. Minnesota DLI Commissioner, Nancy Leppink and Assistant Commissioner Heather McGannon, and Piepline Program Consultant represented Minnesota DLI. Aimed at highlighting the importance of our close-knit manufacturing industry, roughly 20 manufacturing companies from across Anoka County came together. A special appreciation goes out to our local leaders in the community who joined. We’re proud to be an active member in the Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce Manufacturing CoHort and committed to keeping manufacturing careers in the county.
With 19% of Anoka County’s workforce in manufacturing and the with the second highest concentration of manufacturing companies in Minnesota , manufacturing career tracks equip Minnesotans’ with highly competitive wages while avoiding the burden of paying for a four-year education. The manufacturing industry allows Minnesota residents the ability to build a home, start a family and stay local. Regional activity in support of the manufacturing industry is being led by an effort with a CoHort group facilitated under the direction of the Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce. Since 2015 this CoHort has developed a scalable and transferable model
representing three major pillars of concern. These three pillars are; Workforce Acquisition, Workforce Incumbent Development, and Continuous Improvement. The Chamber CoHort has been the catalyst driving change to the Anoka-Hennepin school district curriculum, creating an education process that more directly aligns with today’s manufacturing needs. Our CoHort works very closely with DEED and MN Dpt. of Labor providing pathways to meaningful careers for our local students. These pathways are supported through the utilization of grant dollars, internship and apprenticeship models.
This CoHort has also addressed cultural changes in the workforce. Outcomes include creating a better understanding of how aging Baby Boomers integrate with our next generation of Millennials and Gen Z workforce populations. These examples are a few of many that position this CoHort as trailblazers to our industry and community, allowing us to see real world impact. Meeting our vision for manufacturing, includes bringing awareness to these regional impacts, representing the possibility of a scalable and deployable state wide model serving the Manufacturing sector.