September 22, 2015 - Located in the middle of the state, Central Minnesota is ideally located for ground transportation. The combination of the region's highway infrastructure and geographic location has created a cluster of transportation companies and jobs.
Industry clustering occurs when companies with similar needs or interests concentrate within a close proximity of each other. Industry clusters have an almost magnetic effect on companies eyeing expansions or entrance into their region. As existing companies expand, so do the training programs for their specialized jobs, which in turn creates a bigger pool of skilled workers for new or expanding companies to draw from.
The transportation cluster in Central Minnesota is a vast network of interlaced industries including, but not limited to: truck transportation, warehousing and storage, and transportation equipment manufacturing. Together, these three industries have added almost 500 jobs in the last year!
While the job growth in Central Minnesota was a modest 1.8% from 2013 to 2014, the incredible growth within these transportation-related industries eclipsed the overall growth of the region. Warehousing and storage employment grew 25 times faster than overall growth, while transportation equipment manufacturing grew over five times faster, and truck transportation expanded a little over twice as much.
No other region in Minnesota exceeded the growth of any of the three industries over the past year, underscoring the favorable conditions in Central Minnesota for all things ground transportation.
Moving goods, storing them, and manufacturing the equipment necessary to do those duties also pays higher average wages than normal. In 2014, the average annual wage for all jobs in Central Minnesota was $38,012. The average annual wage for manufacturing transportation equipment was $43,836, wages in truck transportation were $46,228, and warehousing and storage jobs paid an average of $44,252.
Although manufacturers of transportation equipment don't always rely on regional customers, a bright outlook for the transportation and warehousing industry in Central Minnesota is sure to help maintain consistent employment levels. From 2012 to 2022, DEED's Employment Outlook for transportation and warehousing in Central Minnesota has the fastest growth of any region in the state at 10.9%, while the statewide projected growth is a meager 0.6%.
For More Information
Contact Luke Greiner at 320-308-5378.