Through education, community partnerships, and workplace opportunities, MITGI promotes and supports the growth of manufacturing in Minnesota. “We believe that one of our most important tasks is to provide an early introduction to manufacturing that inspires students to consider how their talents and interests can be applied. By networking with students and parents, we can show what modern manufacturing looks like, describe the kinds of careers that exist, and help students to formulate plans for a productive future that benefits the whole community,” explains Eric Lipke, MITGI President.
Creating partnerships with area schools and businesses allows MITGI to promote the viability of careers in manufacturing in a variety of ways:
- Tours help students to see different types of facilities, work environments, and explore career opportunities
- MITGI-sponsored scholarships help students defray the costs of education, and in turn, connects the business and the student
- Paid job shadowing and internships allow students and potential employees to receive practical work experience while exploring the types of jobs possible in manufacturing
- Executive level participation in advisory boards ensures that opportunities in education and business exist for students when they are ready to work
“We believe that there is no better way to make a career decision than through experience; personal connections and hands-on interactions are powerful ways to see if manufacturing is a fit,” explains Andrea Waller-Plath, MITGI General Manager. “Through active engagement in the community, we can help students find careers that utilize their talents, bolster the viability of our community, and raise the visibility of manufacturing.”
COMMUNITY RELATIONS: EDUCATION PARTNERSHIPS
Getting more students to enroll in manufacturing programs is the first step in creating a larger pool of potential employee candidates. Through on-site tours, classroom visits, presentations at manufacturing expos, and participation in advisory groups, MITGI is helping to expose Elementary through High School aged students and their parents to the types of jobs that are available in the manufacturing industry.
At the post-secondary level, MITGI’s focus is on developing and curating relationships with local community and technical colleges. Through donations of tools and equipment, scholarships, paid internships, and participation in advisory boards, MITGI helps to provide support and input to influence the effectiveness of area programs. Partnerships like these help to keep schools informed about the current employment needs in manufacturing, ensuring that their programs are giving students the skills that are desired by area manufacturers.
MITGI is proud to partner with the following:
Elementary School: St. Anastasia Catholic School, West Elementary (Hutchinson), and Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop Elementary
Middle School: Hutchinson Middle School, Gibbon/Fairfax/Winthrop (GFW)
High School: Dassel-Cokato, Hutchinson, Glencoe-Silver Lake, Buffalo Lake/Hector/Stewart (BLHS), Atwater/Cosmos/Grove City (ACGC)
Post-Secondary: South Central Community College, Ridgewater College, Alexandria Technical College, St. Cloud Technical College
Advisory partnerships: St. Anastasia Catholic School, Hutchinson School District, Dassel-Cokato School District, Glencoe-Silver Lake District, South Central Community College, and Ridgewater College.
COMMUNITY & PUBLIC RELATIONS: REGIONAL INITIATIVES
Over the past few years, the work that MITGI has done to help elevate the perception of careers in manufacturing has had wide-reaching benefits throughout the county and Hutchinson community. Facing short and long-term recruiting needs, regional manufacturers have joined together to increase the visibility of manufacturing and to promote the area as a hotbed for jobs in manufacturing.
MITGI actively promotes manufacturing with the following community and regional associations:
- Hutchinson EDA
- Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce
- Made in McLeod Association
- Southwest Initiative Foundation
- Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association
- Manufacturers Alliance
COMMUNITY & PUBLIC RELATIONS: RECOGNITION
As a recipient of the Minnesota Business Magazine Image Award in 2014, MITGI is recognized in the community as a leader in manufacturing. By showcasing the efforts of MITGI with students and parents, other businesses in the area are joining together to create greater awareness and provide resources to students and schools. The impact of raising the visibility of manufacturing in Minnesota is wide-spread. From a micro to macro perspective, improving the perception of manufacturing is elevating the growth potential for the industry.
“Through greater exposure to potential jobs and career fields, students may find the connection between their interests and talents to good-paying and readily available jobs in manufacturing,” explains Jennie Nelson, Director of Sales and Marketing. “By listening to the needs of area manufacturers, schools are creating career and technology education programs that help students prepare to enter the workforce, ready to learn or begin to work. Businesses looking at large numbers of workers preparing to retire from skilled labor positions are finding renewed interest in the industry from the next generation of young men and women. In our community, all of these factors contribute to the perception that the outlook for manufacturing is strong and viable.”
At MITGI, the initiatives that are helping to contribute to this success are led by dedicated, talented employees. We are grateful for the hard work they do each day; and are proud to support and promote manufacturing innovation in our community.