Seminar addresses shortage of skilled manufacturing professionals

WORKFORCE-9-18-13September 2013 - A growing shortage of skilled manufacturing professionals is one of the biggest threats facing America’s manufacturing industries. There are simply not enough skilled welders, machinists, electricians and other trade professionals to meet employers’ demands, and the existing pool of skilled labor is graying rapidly. This pressing topic will be addressed during a special “Workforce Tools and Applications” seminar, 11:20-1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10 at Jet Edge, Inc., 12070 43rd Street N.E., St. Michael, Minn.

Hosted by the Wright County Economic Development Partnership and Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association in light of MN Manufacturing Month, the Workforce Tools and Applications Seminar will include a lunch/networking hour followed by informative presentations from St. Cloud Technical College, Central MN Jobs and Training Services followed by a manufacturer testimonial who has used the services of these agencies to improve its workforce readiness, and Enterprise MN. Participants are invited to tour Jet Edge following the seminar to see its latest waterjet cutting technology in action.

During the seminar, the presenters will discuss how Minnesota is addressing the call for a skilled manufacturing labor force and engaging youth in today’s industry. They also will discuss the characteristics of tomorrow’s workforce as well as what programs are available for businesses today.

Speakers include Bruce Peterson, Executive Dean of Academic Initiatives at St. Cloud Technical College; Tim Zipy, Workforce Development Advisor, Central MN Jobs and Training Services; Lila Kalla, Project Coordinator for Central MN Jobs and Training Services; Harry Larson, Business Growth Advisor, Enterprise MN.

Admission is $20 and includes lunch. Registration is required by Oct. 7. To register, contact Jeanene Strum, WCEDP at 763-477-3035 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For more information, visit

The Work Force Development Seminar is sponsored by Wright County Economic Development Partnership, Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association and Jet Edge, Inc. with support from the Initiative Foundation and the City of St. Michael.

Schedule of Events

11:20 a.m. – Sign in

11:35am – Lunch/networking

Noon -12:50pm - Presentations

12:50pm to 1pm - Q&A

1 p.m. – Jet Edge Tour: (optional, 20 minutes)

Meet Our Speakers

Bruce Peterson
Executive Dean of Academic Initiatives; St. Cloud Technical College

Peterson will work to answer the following questions: How is the technical school engaging and making connections with today’s youth in jobs of tomorrow – skilled manufacturing through high school STEM programs? How are technical colleges and schools addressing the call for skilled and precision manufacturing? How are they building relationships for manufacturing and industry for job placement? What are the “hottest” careers? Who is hiring? What are the needs (skills, education) for today’s employers? What does the future look like? What are the characteristics of tomorrow’s workforce?

Tim Zipoy
Workforce Development Advisor; Central MN Jobs and Training Services

Zipoy will discuss how your business can be reimbursed for a portion of the expense of new employee training through the “On the Job Training” program at Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services. He will also discuss other available workforce specific programs and resources that benefit both the employer and business.

Lila Kalla
Project Coordinator; Central MN Jobs and Training Services

The Central Minnesota Advanced Manufacturing On-the-Job Training (CMAM-OJT) project addresses the employer need in Central Minnesota for high-skilled workers in advanced manufacturing occupations. On-the-job (OJT) training allows a worker to start a full-time permanent job and take part in training provided by the employer. Fifty percent of the worker’s wages are reimbursed to the business for the training period (up to 12 months). 

Harry Larson
Business Growth Advisor; Enterprise MN

Enterprise Minnesota helps small and mid-sized manufacturers develop and implement strategies to grow business. Whether walking through the lean manufacturing process or advising on the latest management strategies, we help your business compete and grow profitably. Our industry experts are located across Minnesota to help you achieve your goals and become a world-class manufacturer. Larson will also discuss alternative ways to help finance both Lean and Growth projects done with Enterprise Minnesota.

About Wright County Economic Development Partnership (WCEDP)

The Wright County Economic Development Partnership, commonly referred to as the WCEDP, is the primary point of contact for existing, start-up, and relocating businesses. We are the economic development arm of the County—a not for profit partnership of area businesses, communities, and the County working together to enhance the economic vitality of our region. WCEDP is governed by an active Board of Directors. For more information, visit

About Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association (CMMA)

The Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association (CMMA) exists for the primary purpose of contributing to the growth and success of manufacturers. For more information, visit


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