State Representatives Shannon Savick and John Petersburg, Minnesota Senator Dan Sparks, U.S. Senator Al Franken’s staff member Bruce Barnum and Blooming Prairie Mayor Harold Peterson recently visited Minimizer headquarters for a plant tour.
Minimizer CEO Craig Kruckeberg invited the legislators to discuss their ideas for bolstering rural economic development through small manufacturing businesses.
“We have held a meeting like this before, and we wanted to do so again,” he says. “Our objective is to keep rural manufacturing concerns, like Minimizer, on the radar. It is easy to be forgotten when there are so many high profile, urban projects that the state gets involved with.”
“Education is always a key factor when trying to garner more economic development support for rural businesses,” Savick says. “We need to work with our community colleges and offer more training.”
The other attending government officials agreed that better communication was necessary to inform people about the amenities, jobs and other opportunities that small, rural businesses provide.
Kruckeberg and his guests discussed the use of DEED (Department of Employment and Economic Development) grants to provide the support to sustain growth in rural communities. Low-interest loans and bonding for infrastructure to keep businesses running were also hot topics.
“My staff and I want businesses like Minimizer to thrive. I even have a blog, A Greater Investment, about this very issue,” he says. “Having such a great turn out today across party lines and a healthy discussion about solutions underscores the very real need to keep prosperous companies in small town America.”
Coincidentally, the very next evening, a government issued report came out stating a study found that United States production and manufacturing employment are on the rise.
Although we’re not out of the woods yet, it’s nice to know that conversations like this one held at Minimizer are not falling on deaf ears, Kruckeberg says.