Duluth Mayor Emily Larson on Thursday joined education, industry, economic development partners and other elected officials to highlight Manufacturing Month as part of a statewide month-long effort.
Larson visited the Integrated Manufacturing program at the Lake Superior College campus in Downtown Duluth and privately toured the Altec facilities with special guest Canadian Consul General Khawar Nasim.
“Duluth has a rich history of crafters, innovators and vision-driven leaders who have sustained our economic health and built up this community and region,” said Larson. “I’m proud to have great educational partners and area businesses that have aligned efforts — doing so is absolutely critical to ensure that we have a skilled workforce to meet the needs of our employers and boost recruitment and retention.
“I am equally excited that we are building up our next generation of innovators by providing 200 youth access to future opportunities available thanks to area partners such as the Arrowhead Manufacturers and Fabricators Association, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, ISD 709, APEX, NORTHFORCE and Lake Superior College.”
Students will tour three manufacturing facilities next week.
According to data from the Minnesota department of Employment and Economic Development, manufacturing jobs have grown by 3.4% over the past five years. This equates to a total payroll impact of $161 million in Duluth. Those numbers include positions that contribute to the success of manufacturing such as assemblers, engineers, inspectors, welders, mechanics, clerical, and managerial staff.
Skilled workers are in high demand. The Lake Superior College Integrated Manufacturing program graduates have a 100% job placement rate and a 94% placement rate for electrical welding students. LSC students are able to secure positions in companies that have incredible growth and longevity.
“Enrollment in LSC’s manufacturing programs has increased significantly over the past few years, as has the demand for trained employees,” said LSC President Dr. Pat Johns. “We see an increasing number of non-traditional students interested in entering the in-demand manufacturing sector. We are also working closer than ever with K-12 school districts throughout the region to spark students’ interest early and help get them in the pipeline. The goal is to get them on the right track to a successful education with a great career waiting for them as soon as they graduate.”
One such company located in Duluth that has career opportunities is Altec, a leading provider of products and services to the electric utility, telecommunications, tree care, lights and signs, and contractor markets.
“Altec is proud of the partnership we have with area colleges and universities, the Port Authority, city of Duluth, state of Minnesota, and most importantly with our outstanding customers and associates in this area,” said David Faynik, General Manager at Altec. “Altec currently has several openings for engineers, welders, painters and many other manufacturing production positions. We are excited to have the ability to grow in the Duluth area and offer our growing number of associates a better place to work.”