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Figuring Out the Social Media Puzzle

Posted on May 06, 2015 at 10:15 AM
Tags: social media, small businesses

Social Media Rubik's Cube.jpgRemember the Rubik's Cube, that migraine headache disguised as a toy? 

The object of that maddening little puzzle is simple enough. Twist, turn, adjust, readjust until you've aligned each of six separate colors on its own side of the cube. How hard could it be, right?


Zeroing in on Your Social Media Audience

Posted on May 05, 2015 at 4:53 PM
Tags: small businesses

Segment and Targeting.jpgYou’re a small business owner on the horns of a very common dilemma. With all of the powerful social-media tools at your disposal, you wonder what you should be telling the world about your company.

That’s your first mistake.


There's More to Manufacturing Jobs Than Production & Assembly

Posted on October 28, 2014 at 10:30 AM
Tags: Southwest MN, economy, career planning, jobs, manufacturing, small businesses

Southwest Region MapWhen people think of the jobs in the manufacturing industry, they typically focus on a short list of production occupations, such as assemblers or welders. That makes sense. Nearly 60 percent of all occupations in manufacturing are classified as production in Southwest Minnesota.

But that also means a little more than 40 percent - or 16,320 manufacturing jobs in the region- are not in production. These include a mix of well-paid occupations, ranging from sales and marketing to construction and other trades. 


Paper's Still on a Roll in Northeast Minnesota

Posted on October 24, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Tags: Northeast MN, economy, jobs, manufacturing, small businesses, workforce

Northeast RegionEven though Northeast Minnesota has the smallest number and lightest concentration of manufacturing jobs statewide, it remains a dominant player in a key industry.

And what the region lacks in job quantity is offset by high quality.

Paper manufacturing is a regional strong suit and (despite some significant job losses over the past few years) is still ripping right along in this part of the state.


High-Tech, Precision are Leaders in Metro Manufacturing

Posted on October 23, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Tags: Twin Cities, economy, jobs, small businesses, manufacturing

Twin Cities Regional Map

It's fair to say that the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area is the epicenter of manufacturing in Minnesota.

The 4,105 manufacturing companies in the region supply 162,716 jobs. That's about 53 percent of all manufacturing jobs statewide.

In the metro region, the average annual wage in manufacturing was $69,680 in 2013 - 17 percent higher than the industry’s average annual wage for the state as a whole ($59,540).


Rural Renewal Good For Manufacturers

Posted on October 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Tags: Northwest MN, economy, small businesses, jobs, manufacturing

Northwest RegionMuch has been made of the “brain drain” that results as young people ages 15 to 29 leave rural communities everywhere to seek out education, careers and lives in cities. 

While the youth exodus is troubling and deserves our attention, what is too often overlooked in all of the hand-wringing is the influx of workers ages 30 to 49 who are coming back to rural communities all over Minnesota - and what a boon that is to manufacturers.


Manufacturing is Comeback Kid in Central Minnesota

Posted on October 21, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Tags: small businesses, manufacturing, Central MN, economy, jobs

Central Region

After getting knocked down hard during the recession, manufacturing has been the comeback kid in Central Minnesota.

Over the past three years, the sector has picked itself off the canvas, charged forward with remarkable stamina and made substantial gains.

Manufacturing has added more employment to this region’s economy than any other industry since 2010, gaining 3,676 jobs. 


When It Comes to Manufacturing, Minnesota's Got It Made

Posted on October 20, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Tags: manufacturing, economy, small businesses, workforce, exports, jobs, career planning

It's Minnesota Manufacturers WeekOn the off chance you forgot to circle it in red on your calendar along with other important dates like your wedding anniversary or your kids’ birthdays, here’s a gentle reminder: Today marks the beginning of Minnesota Manufacturers Week.

Cue the trumpet. The applause. The cheering. Roll out the cake with sparklers. All of it well deserved.


Manufacturers Should See and Seize Export Opportunities

Posted on October 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM
Tags: small businesses, manufacturing, exports, business expansion

Three globes, three continentsLike lots of Minnesota manufacturers, Erick Ajax hadn’t given much thought to selling his products in foreign markets.

Exporting sounded too complicated. Too risky. And EJ Ajax, a Fridley-based precision metal-forming company, was too busy taking care of its U.S. customers to go prospecting in unknown and uncertain territory abroad.


Are Women Ignoring Careers in Manufacturing?

Posted on October 06, 2014 at 10:20 AM
Tags: small businesses, manufacturing, career planning

Women in Manufacturing
You can’t help but notice the special emphasis Sarah Richards uses as she describes her company.

“We are a third-generation, woman-owned metal fabrication manufacturer,” says Richards, the CEO and president of Jones Metal Products in Mankato, Minn.


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