Enterprise Minnesota to roll-out the fourth annual statewide poll of manufacturing executivesEnterprise Minnesota will launch its fourth annual State of Manufacturing poll in early 2012, revealing what executives think about top issues facing the industry in the coming year.
Enterprise Minnesota will launch its fourth annual State of Manufacturing poll in early 2012, revealing what executives think about top issues facing the industry in the coming year.
As the survey has grown each year, so has public understanding about the challenges and opportunities that manufacturers face, and the value of manufacturing to Minnesota's economy says Enterprise Minnesota president Bob Kill.
"Our goal is to probe the issues and challenges that drive manufacturers' ability to compete and thrive," Kill said. "In 2008 we created the State of Manufacturing poll to illustrate how Minnesota manufacturers view their industry, their companies and their communities in ways that would showcase the value of manufacturing to the state."
Enterprise Minnesota will present the findings with support from its statewide sponsors on February 21, 2012, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Sponsors include Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, Granite Equity Partners, Gray Plant Mooty, M&I Bank, Trusight, RJF, and Xcel Energy.
Last year's State of Manufacturing survey found that executives expected a mixed bag, closely matching the actual outcome over the next several months. The survey found that less than one in 10 manufacturing executives (9 percent) anticipated a continued recession in 2011, while 40 percent foresaw economic expansion.
Now with four years of surveying, trends are beginning to appear. Understanding the year-to-year responses is becoming more important to creating visibility for manufacturing says Laura Moore, risk management consultant with RJF, a sponsor since the first survey in 2008.
"This project has had a compounding affect since its inception. As an inaugural supporter of this project, we've seen participation grow each year, with more people in positions of authority taking note of what manufacturers say they need to succeed," Moore said. "Manufacturing is a vital segment of Minnesota's economy. Keeping it strong is in all our interests."
Long one of the Minnesota's economic strengths, manufacturing remains a backbone of the state's economy. The industry employs more than one in 10 workers in the state, and pay more than average for wages, accounting for about 15 percent of all wages paid. Each manufacturing job supports another 1.3 jobs elsewhere through suppliers and employee spending. In total, manufacturing accounts for almost 30 percent of all jobs in Minnesota, according to the Department of Employment and Economic Development.
A strong manufacturing sector is critical to the state's economy, which is one reason why it's important to hear their outlook and top issues every year says Moore.
"Helping manufacturers grow and strengthen their businesses supports vibrant communities throughout Minnesota, not only by providing jobs and increasing the tax base, but also by providing pride," Moore said. "This project gives us all a chance to really listen to what our manufacturers have to say, and then find ways to help them through their difficulties."
Enterprise Minnesota's polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies, will conduct phone surveys during the first two weeks of January and Enterprise Minnesota will conduct 19 focus groups during that same time period.
To hear the results, register for the State of Manufacturing event at www.enterpriseminnesota.org/resources/state-of-manufacturing.html