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DEED kicks off Summer of Jobs campaign in Mankato

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development kicked off its Summer of Jobs campaign in Mankato at a local metal fabricator.
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 7:24 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2022 at 7:25 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) kicked off its Summer of Jobs campaign in Mankato at a local metal fabricator.

“They got to weld and kind of learn the skill and everything. It was just cool to see that our jobs matter and people understand what it is. I never really knew what it was until I took the class in high school,” said Tealy Krosch, a robotic welder at Jones Metal Inc.

The campaign includes job-shadowing for some of the more in-demand jobs available in the state, showing the opportunities in manufacturing, health care, technology and beyond.

The statewide initiative kicked off in Mankato with a focus on manufacturing.

“Manufacturing is a field that is the second-highest sector of our entire economy. These are really creative and unique careers that don’t only involve your traditional hand welding but also robotics,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said. “This is a huge wave in an industry that’s growing fast over time.”

In Mankato, Jones Metal is one of the local businesses which has partnered with South Central College and Mankato Area Public Schools to create a pathway for young adults to see all their opportunities in manufacturing.

“Make sure that kids have internship opportunities, opportunities to work and go to school. Their school is often paid for through grants that we access, and also a full-time job is there for them when they are done with school,” Jones Metal CEO and President Sarah Richards said.

According to figures released by DEED last week, job openings in Minnesota climbed to a record high in the fourth quarter of 2021, with more than 214,000 openings.

“This is a really unique time in the Minnesota labor market. We have the fifth-tightest labor market in the entire country. So we have a huge problem with labor shortage, and something we are doing this summer is highlighting different pools of labor people might overlook as employers,” Grove added.

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