Despite the slow recovery of the U.S. economy in 2012 and the uncertainty swirling during the holidays regarding the fiscal cliff, 2012 gave our region some real positive signs that our economy is improving and that we're working together to strive for a better future.
One of the positive signs: The greater Minneapolis-St. Paul region added more than 29,000 jobs in 2012. This number is "net" new jobs, meaning the number is 29,000 larger than where the region started the year.
Yes, we've had some companies shrink, some grow, some leave the area and some move here from outside the region. That's the nature of our global economy today. It seems to be our nature, and that of the news media, to focus more on store closings and even hints that companies might move than on companies expanding and growing.
As a region, we must continue to focus our efforts on helping those companies that are making investments and adding jobs here.
They are small and emerging businesses, middle-market companies and a number of our large corporate headquarters from companies that expanded their ranks and committed to new facilities. We also added newly recruited businesses from outside the state and country.
Examples include Polaris' decision to double its R&D facility in Wyoming, Minn., and add 300 new jobs and Secunia, a Danish IT company, relocating its headquarters to Minneapolis. And Gerdau, a Brazilian steel company, is making a $50 million capital investment and adding jobs in St. Paul.
These are just a few of the dozens of projects that were tracked by Greater MSP, the public-private economic-development partnership composed of hundreds of regional economic-development partners .
Those of us who track job creation and have an active role in helping our region grow and prosper realize that the companies that we work with need to be recognized for their commitment and investment.
The community partners who work with the companies to plan and execute their projects are also responsible for the success. I am pleased to report that the closer our regional partners work together with our companies, the more projects we see come to fruition.
Communicating these successes is an important part of informing our region's businesses, public agencies and residents on the state of our economy and in building an appropriately positive narrative about the area in which we live.
It is the intention of Greater MSP to shout out the successes that are happening in our region and to recognize the companies, their leaders and their community partners who make it happen. Please join us in giving credit where credit is due.
Michael Langley is CEO of Greater MSP.