Greater Mankato Growth Blog

The country is facing a labor shortage as the Baby Boomer population retires and the Mankato-North Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Area (Blue Earth and Nicollet Counties) is no different. To provide insight on strategies to address this shortage, Greater Mankato Growth conducted a national comparison of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) and analyzed workforce engagement. The unique labor force characteristics of our MSA can show areas for improvement and opportunity for enhanced engagement with our diverse populations.

The Mankato-North Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Area (Blue Earth and Nicollet Counties) have very unique attributes in our workforce.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, we rank 364 out of 381 MSAs in the country in terms of percent of workers 16-64 year who worked full-time, year round.

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Workforce Shortage

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Our economy is facing a critical workforce shortage.

Over the next five years, employers – already struggling to fill open positions – will see this challenge accelerate due to the confluence of an aging workforce, a diminishing worker pool and the need to fuel an anticipated 20 percent growth in new employment due to economic growth.
Greater Mankato Growth convened a talent task force which is charged with initiating a collective community response, stemming from a framework of strategic priorities. The Talent Task Force will share this framework at the summit as the guiding document.
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Higher Wages Will Not Solve This Problem

Job market headline under magnifying glassMaybe you’ve seen the signs on doors, billboards and even television ads – Help Wanted! All types of businesses – retail, manufacturing, services – are bemoaning the shortage of applicants.

Last October, this Star Tribune article suggested that if Mankato businesses would pay higher wages, it would solve the worker shortage problem.

However, this belies what state demographers have been warning for years – our labor pool is shrinking because of Baby Boomer retirements, the migration rate isn’t high enough to offset aging, the birth-death ratios and finally the working age demographic isn’t big enough to fill the vacancies. This MinnPost story gets to the heart of the problem and to potential solutions including businesses employing more technology. However, in the long run when the working age demographic does rebound at about 2030 and we have a labor pool big enough, the next predicament we face is…will there be enough jobs available?

Why You Need to Grow Your Personal Brand and It’s Not to Land a New Job

Business owners rarely see a reason to build on things like their LinkedIn profiles. “I’m not looking for a job.”, is a common response when asked why they don’t have one. But in today’s uber-competitive business climate, where even mom and pops are potentially competing on a global level, it’s more important than ever to be able to differentiate your business, and yourself, from the competition. This is done through personal branding. Read More

Help Shape Our 2017 Policy Priorities

FromTheDomeThe Legislature will gavel into session on January 3, 2017. With a budget surplus of $1.4 billion and several key policy issues like taxes and transportation unresolved following the 2016 session, next year’s legislative session promises to be very important to our community and businesses. I’m looking for your input to help shape our organization’s policy priorities for 2017. Read More

The Mankato Workforce Center is hosting a Job Fair next Wednesday, December 7th from 10 am to 2 pm.  The event is free and open to anyone seeking employment.  The Workforce Center is located at 12 Civic Center Plaza, Mankato, MN in the Mankato Place Mall.

Companies that will be attending:

Agropur (formerly Davisco) in Le Sueur

Openings in Production, Lab, Janitorial, and Office/Professional.

For more information see: www.daviscofoods.com

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Overtime Rule Blocked

DOL SealA federal judge in Texas has blocked the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) new federal overtime rule, which would have raised the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA’s) salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476.

Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted a preliminary injunction on Nov. 22 in a lawsuit challenging the DOL’s authority to raise the salary threshold. For now, businesses and employees are in a holding pattern.

What does this mean for employers? Here are some questions businesses may be grappling with in the aftermath. Read More

Countywide public transportation is coming to rural Blue Earth, Nicollet and Le Sueur counties.  Please help shape the new transit system to best fit our community’s needs by taking a short online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/tricountytransit.

This built out system will go a long way towards improving commuting by connecting affordable housing to employment destinations.

There are actually two separate initiatives that are collaborating on transportation planning. A second planning process is focused on connecting Saint Peter, Le Sueur and Mankato via the Highway 169 corridor.

The survey above is in regards to the Tri-County Transit system, which will include rural portions of Blue Earth, Nicollet and Le Sueur counties, utilizing a combination of routes and dial-a-ride features and working as much as possible in combination with other city systems. Each group knows the other is working and will continue to work in tandem to complement each other’s services.

Have questions or need a paper copy of the survey?  Contact Mike at 507.720.5470 or mikel@vinevolunteers.com.

According to Moody’s Analytics, the Mankato-North Mankato MSA (Blue Earth and Nicollet Counties) has the Lowest Cost of Doing Business in Minnesota and the 8th lowest in the Upper Midwest (MN, IA, WI, SD, ND).

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The Mankato-North Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Area (Blue Earth and Nicollet Counties) is one of the hardest working and most productive metros in the country.

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