Headquartered in North Mankato, Taylor Corporation is one of the largest privately held companies in the United States. It now encompasses more than 80 subsidiaries worldwide and has more than 12,000 employees.

But all of this is a long way from how Glen Taylor started in 1975.

Taylor says, “The drive comes from being brought up in the rural. I had a large family, not much money, at a very early age we understood you had to work hard.”

That work ethic combined with an innate ability to take risks has helped him grow the company. He also gives credit to the people he has around him.

Taylor says, “If people ask me ‘what are one of the gifts you have’ I say God gave me the gift of selecting people. I’ve been very, very fortunate in selecting so many people, many of them my fellow students at University, to come in at an early age and work with me. I trusted them, they’ve always honored that trust and have been such good partners.”

Work force issues are top of mind for city and business leaders in Greater Mankato, including Glen Taylor. So he starts recruiting early before students graduate, teaching them the Taylor culture with a long term goal of having them choose to stay with the company. Taylor says employers have to be creative these days.

“There has to be a willingness to retrain people. There are people out there looking for jobs, but they look at the skill sets you say you need and they say ‘I’ve never done that before” You have to have the willingness to say I understand that but we have good training, good people who will teach you how to learn that job. We’re willing to put that investment in you if you’re willing to come and give it a try.”

He offers insight for job seekers and entrepreneurs.

“Get into a business that you find that you like. You are just going to be so much more successful if you like it. There are going to be opportunities that come along, but you need to meet your personal needs and one personal need is that if you are going to build a company, you have to enjoy it. Cuz it’s too hard otherwise.”

Although the campus is in North Mankato, Taylor’s generosity can be found all around: The North Mankato Taylor Library, the Taylor Center at MSU, and the YMCA.