MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The manufacturing industries in south central Minnesota will be highlighted during the South Central Minnesota Tour of Manufacturing that is free and open to the public as manufacturers showcase their facilities and available opportunities.
According to a workforce strategy consultant with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), manufacturing is the number one job sector in south central Minnesota.
“347 manufacturers within the nine counties in south central Minnesota providing almost 19,000 jobs, it’s very much an important part of the economy for south central Minnesota,” said Jessica Miller, a workforce strategy consultant for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
The tour is open to the public, job seekers and students and will feature 23 manufacturing facilities, including Dotson’s Iron Castings in Mankato.
“We’re showing you exactly what our team members are doing every single day and some of the opportunities might be CNC machining, or maintenance or engineering, so there’s a wide range of things that we do at Dotson’s,” said Dotson Representative Nicole Hiller.
Featured on the cover of the 2019 Tour of Manufacturing Magazine is Andrew Schultz who is enrolled in the machining program at South Central College and currently works at Dotson.
“I found out about Dotson through SCC and I filled out the application and I was lucky that they decided to hire me and there’s also a lot of machining jobs around here even, between here, the cities and the Midwest in general,” said Andrew Schultz, a SCC student and Dotson employee.
Schultz said he was hired at Dotson before going to college, following the earning while you’re learning mentality.
“It’s not a bad choice whatsoever because it makes good money and a lot of times they’ll work with you for hours for school and it’s such a broad thing you can do with a machining degree or just working in metal in general,” said Schultz.
“Right now, the average wage for south central Minnesota and manufacturing is $1,018 a week, so it’s a great opportunity to earn a livable wage in a career that will be in demand for years to come,” said Miller.
The tours will be hosted on Oct. 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Oct. 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A link to more information and the magazine that includes the map is attached here.