COVID-19 continues to impact Minnesota’s manufacturers and supply chain – Community News

COVID-19 continues to impact Minnesota’s manufacturers and supply chain

Minnesota’s two most pressing concerns won’t surprise you: supply chains and attracting qualified workers. You’ve probably heard about it in the news, at the dinner table and just about everywhere.

The results of the 2021 State of Manufacturing survey were released Wednesday, detailing how manufacturers are recovering from the pandemic, how manufacturing leaders feel about the economy and what keeps them up at night.

Opinion research firm Meeting Street Insights conducts the survey annually for Enterprise Minnesota, marking the 13th year the survey has been conducted.

That alone was its own challenge, as manufacturers seemed busier than ever this year, Rob Autry, founder of Meeting Street Insights, said at the event on Wednesday. In the past 12 years, most interviews were conducted during the working day. Last year, interviewers spoke to production managers three times outside office hours.

Enterprise Minnesota CEO and President Bob Kill welcomes attendees to the 2021 State of Manufacturing event on Wednesday, November 10, 2021.

This year, 1/3 of the interviews took place outside office hours, such as evenings or weekends, Autry said.

He said research findings indicated that the impact of COVID-19 on manufacturers was just as significant — if not more important — than last year.

Manufacturer’s concerns

Supply chains and attracting qualified workers, currently nationwide buzzwords as employers struggle with labor shortages and stockpiles in shipping containers outside flooded U.S. ports, topped manufacturers’ list of concerns, Autry said.

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