How the Manufacturing Industry in Fergus Falls is Fostering Tomorrow’s Workforce

Updated: Mar 23

With a new generation of workers set to take the place of baby boomers, it’s more important than ever to prepare the future workforce. Our team at Greater Fergus Falls recognizes that it is our responsibility to help tomorrow’s workforce hone their skills and develop their work ethic — and we’re not alone. Many of the business leaders in our community agree and are creating unique opportunities to do just that.

In the first part of this three-part series, we shared how the Fergus Falls healthcare industry supports the future workforce through on-site training programs. The blog highlighted LB Homes’ Nursing Assistant Training Program, discussing how they give students hands-on experience as they complete their CNA certification and other schooling.

Now, we want to share insight into the workforce training opportunities for skilled labor industries in our community. More specifically, manufacturing and welding. Scroll below to get the details!

Minnesota Has Roots in the Manufacturing Industry

The land of 10,000 lakes has had a strong presence in the manufacturing industry for years and consists of more than 6,500 companies, including big names like Cargill, Medtronic, and 3M.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), manufacturing accounts for 14.3% of the state’s total economic output, producing a whopping $52.65 billion in 2018. What’s more, 10.82% of Minnesota’s workforce is employed by manufacturers with 321,000 individuals working in various sectors, such as welding and other metal manufacturing.

While a good chunk of our workforce is employed in a range of manufacturing fields, the industry has been experiencing a workforce shortage for some time. As baby boomers continue to enter retirement, the need for skilled laborers continues to grow. From CNC machinists to assemblers and fabricators, there is a wide range of positions available.

As time goes on, many of those positions will be available in the welding sector. A report by the American Welding Society (AWS) estimates there will be a national shortage of 327,000 welders by 2026. Aura Fabricators, a local manufacturing company, is making it a priority to introduce manufacturing opportunities to the future workforce.

Aura Fabricators Partners with Local Educators to Support Students Interested in the Manufacturing Industry

With locations in Dalton and Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Aura Fabricators primarily serves the DOT markets with miscellaneous and structural metal fabrication. Owner and Greater Fergus Falls Board member,