IRRR Board to consider Enterprise Minnesota partnership

October 19, 2011

EVELETH, Minnesota – Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) Commissioner Tony Sertich announced today that a partnership with Enterprise Minnesota to assist area manufacturers will be considered by the IRRRB at the Thursday, October 20, 2011 board meeting at IRRRB headquarters in Eveleth. 

Enterprise Minnesota works with small and medium sized Minnesota manufacturing companies to help them compete and grow profitably. The organization offers a variety of services, including the incorporation of lean concepts and techniques through its Growth Acceleration Program (GAP); other programs that utilize lean training; CEO peer councils; and proactive marketing training. Many of these services can be customized to meet the unique needs of its manufacturing business clientele. 

The IRRRB would use $50,000 in partnership with Enterprise Minnesota to make its services more accessible to local Taconite Assistance Area manufacturers. The grant would be structured on a reimbursement basis. Companies receiving Enterprise Minnesota assistance would be required to match the eligible IRRRB assistance on a dollar for dollar basis and to apply for any other available funding to offset the cost. It is estimated that eight to ten area manufacturers would benefit from the grant. 

“I am optimistic about this partnership, because the manufacturing sector is vital to our regional economy,” said Commissioner Sertich. “My hope is that this pilot project will help our local manufacturing businesses increase their competitiveness and create jobs.” 

Enterprise Minnesota was originally chartered and funded by Governor Rudy Perpich and the Minnesota Legislature in 1987 as the Greater Minnesota Corporation with a mission to work with manufacturing companies in greater Minnesota.  Enterprise Minnesota has not received any state funding for operations since 2004. The organization is one of 59 affiliates of the U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) that works with manufacturers to help them become operationally efficient and on a path towards growth.  Enterprise Minnesota works with about 200 companies annually to help them become more efficient and compete in a global economy. 

IRRRB is a state economic development agency headquartered in northeastern Minnesota whose vision is to promote and invest in business, community and workforce development for the betterment of northeastern Minnesota