In an effort to support manufacturing businesses, the Litchfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Meeker County Economic Development Authority have teamed up to bring forth a new manufacturing group logo and concept through Meeker County Made.
Bringing new technologies and new ideas to the Litchfield area, Meeker County Made is a new privately led manufacturing group that aims to collaborate with businesses to promote the stories of success and the products the businesses create.
Meeker County Made’s goals are positive results for business collaboration, youth recruitment, employee retention and educating the public about the products that are being manufactured around them.
Celebrating the industry and recognizing the roles manufacturers play in their communities, National Manufacturing Day was Oct. 6. The National Association of Manufacturers encouraged community organizations to hold events empowering manufacturers and introducing people to manufacturing careers throughout the month.
At a luncheon Oct. 10, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Judy Hulterstrum and Meeker EDA Executive Director David Krueger presented to a number of business owners how to achieve goals and network with potential employees as well as how to stay relevant in a competitive industry.
“We want to thank you for choosing Meeker County,” Krueger said, addressing those who attended the lunch. “We know you could have chosen to be anywhere in Minnesota or the world, so thank you.”
According to the Department of Employment and Economic Development, manufacturing contributed millions of dollars to Minnesota’s economy, with 8,200 manufacturing establishments in Minnesota alone. That’s 618 career opportunities in Litchfield, with Meeker County contributing to 22 percent of all jobs in Minnesota, according to recent data.
“You’re not just a manufacturer, you’re a job creator,” Krueger said.
“We think this is key, that Millenials and others want to know about your history, what you do in the social aspect of things and what you contribute to society,” Krueger said.
“Another initiative that Meeker County is involved in is working on a stronger broadband presence,” Krueger said.
Jack Maytum, senior business analyst for Design Nine Consulting, was among those present at the luncheon. Design Nine is the consulting agency hired to study Meeker County’s broadband internet presence and determine what’s necessary to keep up with technological advances.
“In 10 or 15 years, we’re going to be at the point where dial-up internet used to be,” Krueger said. “This analysis is all about what your businesses need for the future.”
Taking steps forward to provide the best outcomes for manufacturing businesses across Meeker County, Meeker County Made, the speakers said, hopes to bring national recognition to an industry that has provided a careers to a great number of the population as well as economic growth.