Today I had the great opportunity to spend the morning with Stewartville city leadership, members of the Minnesota state legislature, regional economic developers, and local manufacturers to celebrate Minnesota Manufacturing Week in Stewartville. Manufacturing Week recognizes the importance of this industry to our local and national economy. We have diverse manufacturing in Minnesota producing food, computer and electronic products, fabricated metal, petroleum products, and much more. Manufacturing jobs create 21% of the wages in southeast Minnesota alone.
This morning I got to be part of a small group traveling around Stewartville with Mayor Jimmie-John King and Minnesota State Senator Carla Nelson as the Mayor presented Certificates of Recognition from the state to six Minnesota-grown manufacturers showing appreciation of the work, leadership, and jobs provided by these companies.
Here are the six Stewartville grown manufacturers recognized this morning.
Geotek is an international manufacturer and supplier of reinforced fiberglass pultrusion products. The company has created many local jobs and leadership and is currently hiring. Geotek is continually expanding and has more than doubled their sales and capacity over the past five years. The company currently employs about 170 permanent and temporary employees. (Click to advance through images.)
Halcon manufactures and supplies high end office furniture internationally. Their new, modern office doubles as a workplace and functional showroom. The group got to speak with Halcon Founder and Chairman Peter Conway, who said that Stewartville has been a very welcoming and supportive community to grow a business and gain long-term employees. In fact, the first five employees ever hired by Halcon either are still working there or retired from the company. (Click to advance through images.)
Jimmy’s Salad Dressings and Dips
Yes, Jimmy’s Salad Dressings are made right in Stewartville. We also all got take home some of their delicious caramel dip as part of the visit. President Tom Slightam entertained the group at Jimmy’s Salad Dressings. The company was originally started by Tom’s parents, Jimmy and Ella, in their Stewartville restaurant The Fish House in the 1970s. Tom later bought the salad dressing part of the business and renamed it in honor of his father. Jimmy’s Salad Dressings and Dips currently employs twenty people. But Jimmy and Ella provided an opportunity for anyone who want to work for them, including a young Mayor Jimmie-John. (Click to advance through images.)
All American Co-op
All American Co-op is a farmer-owned elevator that began 108 years ago and has made significant contributions to Stewartville. Now, All American Co-op has eight different locations and provides feed and grain services to over 1300 members in southeast Minnesota. (Click to advance through images.)
Wieser Precast Steps
Wieser Precast Steps is a family owned business that has been around since 1969. Wieser manufactures and installs pre-cast steps, even up to eight feet wide. They also manufacture vault liners, septic tanks, and other custom concrete and steel products. (Click to advance through images.)
MN Medical Technologies
MN Medical Technologies is a new player in Stewartville that manufactures fecal incontinence products. Rochester Rising did a podcast with President and Vice President Jim and Phillip Conway just a few weeks ago. We also had the unique opportunity to tour their brand new production facility.