Weather Forecast


Manufacturers sponsor field trips to Children's Museum

Manufacturing companies and associations statewide are coming together to sponsor school field trips to the Minnesota Children's Museum exhibit, "How People Make Things."

The exhibit has been designed to change the way kids and parents think about Minnesota manufacturing careers, in an effort to steadily fill the current 10,000 workforce shortage gap.

So far, the manufacturing industry has spent more than $65,000 on sponsoring and promoting the exhibit and an estimated 174,000 people will visit the exhibit while it is open.

The collaborative effort is bringing more than 2,100 students and chaperones from St. Michael-Albertville, St. Cloud, Kimball, Otsego, Miltona, Carlos, Woodland, Osakis, Ashby Hancock, West Central, Lake Crystal, Mankato and Waseca.

"We are excited about this incredible opportunity to expose youth to manufacturing processes," said Jaime Nolan, executive director of the MPMA. "We want students to be exposed to hands-on experiences, which allow them to discover their potential aptitude and interest in manufacturing. This traveling exhibit will allow children to learn about various types of work in our industry, with the potential of sparking their interest at a young age."

For some time now, manufacturers in west central Minnesota have been concerned about finding the workers they'll need to replace an aging/retiring workforce in the region, Nolan said. Tri-State Manufacturers' Association has engaged in a number of efforts in recent years designed to change perceptions and help the public understand the high tech, high skill jobs available in manufacturing today.

"We are excited to continue this effort with our sponsorship of 'How People Make Things.' Knowing the reputation of the Minnesota Children's Museum, this exhibit has great potential to engage young people - and equally important - to allow parents and other influencers increase their understanding of modern manufacturing," Nolan said.

Collaborators include the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association (MPMA), Alexandria Packaging Machine Manufacturing Consortium, Alexandria Technical and Community College, American Mold Builders Association - Twin Cities Chapter, Arrowhead Manufacturing and Fabricators Association, Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association, Minnesota Manufacturers Coalition, Minnesota Center of Excellence for Manufacturing and Engineering (MNCEME), Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Tri-State Manufacturers Association and 360 Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center of Excellence.

For more information about the workforce development efforts of the manufacturing industry, contact Luann Bartley with MPMA at (952) 564-3041 or e-mail Visit and