Mike Smith, manufacturing engineer at Halcon, far right, leads a tour of Halcon’s working space to begin the celebration of Minnesota Manufacturing Week last Tuesday, Oct. 3. Officials who took the tour include, starting from fourth from left, state Rep. Nels Pierson, state Sen. Carla Nelson, Jimmie-John King, mayor of Stewartville, and Bill Schimmel Jr., city administrator. Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA) partnered with the state of Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and Journey To Growth (J2G) to host tours of manufacturing facilities in four southeastern Minnesota communities, including Stewartville, Rochester, Blooming Prairie and Caledonia.
Shawntera Hardy, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), left, prepares to present a certificate of appreciation to GEOTEK of Stewartville, represented by Mollie Forstner, human resources director, center, and Ben Wiltsie, president and CEO.
Two Stewartville manufacturers opened their doors to educators, elected officials, city leaders and media representatives last week. Halcon and GEOTEK representatives hosted tours of their workplaces to celebrate the beginning of Minnesota Manufacturing Week last Tuesday, Oct. 3. Shawntera Hardy, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), told a group gathered at a Halcon meeting room that manufacturing is Minnesota's largest industry in terms of gross domestic product. "Manufacturing is important to our state," she said. "It is who we are. We are a manufacturing state." Currently, there are 318,000 manufacturing jobs in Minnesota that contribute $48.2 billion per year to the state's economy, Hardy said. That output represents 16 percent of the state's gross domestic product, she said... For more on this story pick up your copy of the Oct. 10 Stewartville STAR.