Gov.  Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan kick off the state's Manufacturing Week Monday by touring Minnesota manufacturing plants and highlighting job training programs.

The effort is expected to expose young adults to lucrative career opportunities and help alleviate the critical worker-shortage problem plaguing factories across Minnesota. 

The state of Minnesota issued a report Monday noting that job vacancies soared to 146,513 during the second quarter. That means there are now more job vacancies than unemployed people to fill the posts. That dilemma is acutely problematic in high tech factories, state officials said. 

To combat the problem, the governor's office and production pros are hosting scores of Manufacturing Week events over the next few weeks.  

Monday, Walz, Flanagan and Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Nancy Leppink will visit Ajax Metal Forming Solutions in Fridley; The Grey To Green Conference at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis; and/or the Lunar Startups UnDemo Day in St. Paul.  St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter will also attend the Lunar Startups Day.    

Manufacturers that will also open their doors to students and the public in honor of Manufacturing Week or Month include: Dotson Iron Castings in Mankato (Oct. 3); Winegar Inc. in Waseca, (Oct. 3); industrial spray maker Graco in Minneapolis (Oct. 4); and 3-D printing firm Stratasys in Eden Prairie (Oct. 4).

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce will hold its 2019 Manufacturers' Summit on Oct. 2 in Minneapolis and discuss issues affecting the industry such as labor shortages and the impact of trade tariffs. 

The Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association and The Manufacturers Alliance will co-host the 2019 Minnesota Manufacturing Conference at the Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park on Oct. 16 and 17.

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