Greater Mankato Positioned on Global Stage

Greater Mankato was again on the global stage recently during the Select USA Investment Summit in Washington, D.C.

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This is a yearly gathering of leading policy experts, government officials, investors and companies from around the world looking for opportunities.

Greater Mankato was there along with the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development and a handful of other regional representatives pitching the state and our respective regions. Continue reading “Greater Mankato Positioned on Global Stage”

Growing our own

With the loss of many big box stores, the retail sector continues to alter its impact on the Mankato region. Retail trade is slowing and now is exacerbated by the struggling farm economy. Since retail has been a major draw to our community – including medical and entertainment – we need to determine a Plan B to continue growing our economy.

One answer that is gaining steam among Economic Development Organizations is “growing our own” – that is, paying close attention to startups and emerging entrepreneurs.

Tim Krohn of the Free Press wrote about a program offered by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation that is gaining in popularity and helping bolster our emerging economies. These kinds of ventures could help our smaller rural communities who are looking to stem the tide of aging populations and shrinking businesses.

Take a read and let me know how you feel about this as an answer for our future.

Innovation: Mankato’s lifeline?

Last December, two former education leaders in Minnesota wrote an op-ed in the Star-Tribune calling for the state to “re-energize” efforts in innovation because the Bold North is failing to deliver “the talented workforce and innovation that are key to economic vitality and quality of life.” So I was curious. Where did we in Greater Mankato fit in?

Continue reading “Innovation: Mankato’s lifeline?”

Middle school physics tied to a prepared future workforce

With C-suite execs worried about their future workforce, one argument is we need to start preparing our children early and “rewire” the students’ brains for complex, analytical thinking. Critical thinking is the baseline for any career choice, especially in such a rapidly changing economic environment.

This and more in the article “The War For Talent.”

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‘Charging up’ Greater Mankato

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?