Manufacturers feeling good about the future

ALBERT LEA, Minn. – Area manufacturers are feeling more optimistic about their futures according to a new survey done by manufacturing consultant; Enterprise Minnesota.

The survey has been around for six years now, and this year marks the highest amount of manufacturers that say they are confident about their future. Those saying they are “very” confident jumped nearly ten percent.

Less than ten percent say they have concerns for this year.

“What we’re seeing is the ever increasing consciousness of the need to collaborate between businesses, academic institutions, economic development organizations. They are all becoming more conscious of we have to work together to be able to deal with the workforce issues that are so high on everybody’s list,” said Enterprise Minnesota Director of Consulting John Connely.

He said there were some surprising finds this year.

“Those that had formal plans and quality systems were generally twice as optimistic about their futures as those that did not. So, in short, the surprising piece was the significance that those programs play,” Connely said.

Health care is still being reported as the top concern for manufacturers across the state.

Nearly half of the respondents say things like taxes, regulations and policy uncertainties could impact their firm’s growth.

Finding and keeping qualified workers is another concern, especially in greater Minnesota.

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