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Manufacturing facilities in Southeast Minnesota celebrate manufacturing week, open their facilities for tours

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BLOOMING PRAIRIE, Minn. (KTTC) -

This week is manufacturing week, which is celebrated around the country during October first through the seventh.
The Department of Employment and Economic Development hosted tours of manufacturing facilities in four Southeast communities: Stewartville, Rochester, Blooming Prairie and Caledonia

 This week highlights the state's largest industry, that contributes $48.2 billion to the economy, and supports 318,000 jobs. The tours give an opportunity for individuals to understand the high-tech environments that companies provide.

Manufacturing accounts for one in nine jobs in the state, it also accounted for $18 billion in state exports in 2016. 

Tours  of manufacturing facilities allow people to get a glimpse of dynamic career opportunities.

"They're better paying jobs, they're better benefit jobs," said Dennis Heimerman with Metal Services. "There's a lot of people that are just cut out for this type of work, and if you just recognize that and give an opportunity, it's a great career."

Salaries in this industry are much higher than other industries in the state.
The average manufacturing job in the state paid  $63,794 in 2016 - that's 17% more than the typical job in Minnesota.

"Manufacturing in Minnesota is one of the key ingredients that makes Minnesota work," said Harold Peterson, the Mayor of Blooming Prairie. "It's the good paying jobs that provide an income for a middle income family so that they can be happy people."

The reason the pay is higher is because employees are required to have high-tech skills and be able to operate machinery and computer-controlled equipment.

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