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Survey: 67% Of Minnesota Manufacturers Say It’s difficult To Attract Qualified Candidates

Enterprise Minnesota released their 2014 State of Manufacturing Survey and while generally good news it is a mixed bag of sentiment:


  • 84% are confident in the financial future of their company

  • 45% see in an increase in gross revenue… 47% stay the same


  • 54% see a flat economy… 37% see economic expansion

  • 25% will invest more in employee development… 67% the same

Not so good:

  • 51% say Minnesota is not on the right track as a competitive business location

  • 31% have an employee development and retention program for less experienced employees

Regarding jobs…

  • 30% expect to grow in the next 12 months, does your company expect to grow or shrink the size of its workforce. +5% from 2013

  • 67% find it difficult to attract qualified candidates. +7% from 2013

  • This one shocks me… only 29% have a recruiting relationship with one or more vocational, technical or community colleges or universities

Here is the big number

  • 97% of Minnesota’s manufacturers expect to maintain or grow their workforce in the year ahead

From the press release:

“It is clear that Minnesota’s manufacturers are more confident about their future today than they have been at any point since the start of the recession,” said Bob Kill, president and CEO of Enterprise Minnesota. “The looming concern, however, is that many manufacturers are having difficulty finding qualified workers to remain competitive and sustain their growth.”

I sit here wondering… how are these companies going to fill their hiring needs if they are not developing their current staff and not working closely with the college and university system?

In a word… yikes.

That seems like a tough mountain to climb. Maybe I should be grateful I only need to recruit Ruby, HTML5 and Mobile Developers.

For the data geeks there is a bunch of other data points on wages, healthcare, benefits, supply chain, if business is done internationally and if so where, etc. Click the link above to get at it.

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Tim Esse

I think that point 3 is one big reason why point 2 is the case in the "regarding jobs" area.

I would be interested in why the employers think candidates are not interested and then why potential candidates are actually not interested. Do they not know about the openings? Are the jobs descriptions written poorly? Do people not want to do those jobs any longer? Money?

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