Central Minnesota is a manufacturing stronghold, with several global manufacturing firms operating there.
The region is especially well known for its expertise in food processing, printing, furniture manufacturing, appliances, machinery and heavy equipment manufacturing.
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7/31/2017 10:09:32 AM
Innovation every day. That's how Microbiologics CEO Brad Goskowicz views his company and the people he leads. "If you're not reinventing better products, service, processes and more offerings, then someone else will," Goskowicz said as we walked through the most sophisticated and unique manufacturing facility I have ever seen.
Typically you can walk into a manufacturing plant and see, touch and hold some sort of product. But at Microbiologics they manufacture "bugs," or bacterial and fungal microorganisms for other laboratories to use as positive test controls. This Central Minnesota company was born by leveraging a connection from another Minnesota company, and carving out a niche in the highly-specialized industry of in-vitro diagnostic substance manufacturing.
Business is booming, and this industry has doubled employment statewide from 2006 to 2016. Locally, business for Microbiologics has also been on the up and up, and a new expansion is the most visible example of how being responsive to both changing customer demands and labor markets creates success. Aside from increasing manufacturing capabilities, many features of their new expansion are centered on creating a workplace culture.
It includes an open workspace to enhance cross-department communication, as well as a dedicated quiet room where workers looking to remove distractions can work on comfy work chairs and replace office chatter with the serenity of a fireplace. Even the lunchroom has the intent of creating purpose and culture, fully equipped with fresh food in addition to typical vending machine offerings, and an outdoor deck so the CEO can still grill up brats for the employees. Many of the new additions are a small price to pay to maintain a steady inflow of the best and brightest.
One insight Goskowicz offered is how their family-friendly policies and benefits – highly desired by moms and potential mothers – have shaped their workforce. "We hire the best applicants, and many times the women who seek employment here simply have better qualifications," Goskowicz said. Their workforce is female-dominated, whereas less than one-in-three workers across all Central Minnesota manufacturing firms are women.
For an advanced manufacturer such as Microbiologics, just keeping up means falling behind. New and improved processes and products depend on creative thinkers and meticulous workers. With so many highly technical positions needing to be staffed, the company has strengthened its outreach by partnering with local colleges including St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud Technical and Community College, the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University to offer continuing training for Microbiologics staff, and allow college students to experience and learn from experts in the field.
In other words, interns at Microbiologics aren't fetching coffee. They own an actual project and report the findings to an executive leadership team. Interns share their experiences with other students and professors and help propel a positive and desirable reputation for Microbiologics.
Innovative products and services start with innovative talent. With an increasingly competitive labor market, employers – like Microbiologics – who focus on positive employee experiences, development, and satisfaction can gain an edge in both.
Contact Luke Greiner at Luke.Greiner@state.mn.us or 320-308-5378.