Empowering Elk River: Manufacturing Month Celebrates Local Industry

Empowering Elk River: Manufacturing Month Celebrates Local Industry Main Photo

6 Oct 2023


Manufacturing Month in Elk River is just around the corner, and it's time to gear up for a month-long celebration of our thriving local manufacturing sector. With a theme centered on supporting local manufacturing, this October promises to be an exciting journey through the heart of Elk River's industrial excellence.

Elk River: A Manufacturing Powerhouse

Elk River, situated in the heart of Central Minnesota, is not just a city but a thriving manufacturing hub. Central Minnesota is home to a remarkable 1,200 manufacturers, and the  region significantly impacts the goods-producing industry. Collectively, these manufacturers provide nearly 41,500 jobs, illustrating their pivotal role in the local economy. Manufacturing's growth trajectory is soaring, accounting for over 15% of all regional employment. It's not just about the quantity of jobs but also the quality. Manufacturing jobs offer average annual wages of $10,000 higher than the regional average, making it a beacon of financial stability for residents. Manufacturers contributed a staggering $2.65 billion in wages in 2022, outpacing all other regional industries.**
(**Data from https://mn.gov/deed/data/locallook/central/central-blog.jsp#/detail/appId/1/id/592125)

Embracing Innovation and Technology

One of the defining features of Elk River's manufacturing sector is its continuous evolution. Local manufacturers are at the forefront of technological advancements, integrating robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence into their operations. This commitment to innovation means working in the industry provides opportunities to stay ahead of technological advancements. Moreover, Elk River's manufacturing companies prioritize promoting from within, offering employees a clear path for career growth and upward mobility. With experience and further education, workers can ascend to supervisory, managerial, or specialized roles.

Highlighting Local Manufacturing Month Events

As part of Manufacturing Month, Elk River hosts two exciting events that give residents a firsthand look at the local manufacturing scene:

Cool Jobs Tour (October 26, 2023): This event, hosted by the Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce, offers a unique opportunity to explore four Elk River manufacturing businesses: Gradient Technology, Crystal Distribution Inc., Solors Optional Axis, and Metal Craft Machine and Engineering. Participants can discover the diverse career opportunities available at these local companies, including insights into wages, job skills, and responsibilities. The tour also emphasizes the pathways to acquiring the knowledge and skills needed for modern manufacturing jobs. It's an evening of career exploration designed for community members, middle and high school students, and their parents. Participants can tour up to three state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and cap off the evening with a light meal and valuable information on careers, training, wages, and opportunities.

  1. Tour Locations:
  • 4:00 - 4:45 pm: Tour #1 CDI Curbs or Solors Optional Axis Inc.
  • 5:00 pm - 5:45 pm: Tour #2 Gradient Technology, CDI Curbs, or Solors Optional Axis Inc.
  • 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm: Tour #3 and Career Presentation at Metal Craft for a tour, light meal, and a presentation on careers and training in manufacturing.

Central Minnesota Tour of Manufacturing (October 10, 2023): Hosted by the Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association, this event also features a Metal Craft Machine and Engineering visit. It provides an excellent opportunity to explore advanced manufacturing processes, technologies, and career possibilities in Elk River. It's a chance to see the inner workings of the manufacturing industry and gain valuable insights into the innovative spirit that drives Elk River's economy forward.

Manufacturing Month in Elk River is not just a celebration of the industry's past and present; it's a nod to the promising future of manufacturing in Central Minnesota. With its dedication to innovation, job growth, and employee development, the local manufacturing sector is poised to continue driving economic prosperity and providing exciting career opportunities for years to come. So, join us in October to support local manufacturing and discover the incredible world of possibilities it offers here in Elk River.