By Jimmy Lovrien for the Duluth News Tribune
Young workers in Minnesota are more likely to consider a job in manufacturing if they were exposed to the trades in school or by family, but 57 percent of the state's workers never learned about manufacturing careers before turning 18, according to a study released Monday.
West Monroe Partners, a Chicago-based business consultant company, asked 1,000 Minnesota workers aged 18-40 about the manufacturing industry. The study found 44 percent of respondents would not consider a manufacturing career, but that figure falls to 38 percent and 35 percent if the respondent had family employed in manufacturing or if the respondent grew up learning about manufacturing, respectively.
The study concluded "early education and awareness of manufacturing careers drives interest."
Jim Petruga, president of the Arrowhead Manufacturers and Fabricators Association, said he found the results of the study positive overall, but he highlighted the need to increase outreach efforts to students.