Great article regarding the economic situation of manufacturing and how Mactech is experiencing growth for on-site repairs by zigging while others are zagging.  Agility is a strong asset in business and the ability to change and adapt to our clients and the business environment in general is something we are very proud of.  The excerpt from the article is below, and the full article link follows and is worthy of a quick educational read.

A common refrain he hears from manufacturing executives is:  “Tell us where the turn in the road is, and we’ll figure out how to get there and make the turn.

That’s the case for Joel Wittenbraker, president of Red Wing-based Mactech, which produces machines capable of making difficult on-site repairs on ships, oil rigs, refineries and power plants.

“There’s no question that the biggest concern for all employers, whether they’re big or small, is the cost of doing business,” Wittenbraker said.

Wittenbraker’s business took a revenue hit after deep-sea oil drilling slowed down after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010. But Wittenbraker now expects Mactech — which has about 80 employees and annual revenue between $10 million and $20 million — to have its best sales year after investing in new equipment to focus on other industries.

Still, business costs are a concern. In Mactech’s case, recruiting workers is an issue. Wittenbraker says he would hire three qualified machinists immediately — if they showed up.”

“There really is this need for some kind of apprenticeship program,” said Kirby Sneen, vice president at the Golden Valley-based Manufacturers Alliance.

Sneen sees positive developments to address the issue. Last year, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities through a partnership with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce conducted 55 listening sessions across the state involving more than 1,500 people and 700 business leaders over future workforce needs.