Ajax Metal Forming Solutions Vice President Don Wellman tours the Ajax plant with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Nancy Leppink.

Governor Tim Walz and Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry officials launched their Manufacturing Week tour Monday at Ajax Metal Forming Solutions.

 “It is not by mistake that we’re kicking off our push on manufacturing and workforce right here at Ajax,” Governor Walz said. “Your top priority is the people who work here. It’s about their growth and their opportunities,” he said. “That’s something that sets this company apart.”

Governor Walz was joined at Ajax by Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Nancy Leppink. “Ajax has been a phenomenal partner with this agency,” Commissioner Leppink said. “Employees are looking for a place where they can build their careers, where their employer invests in them.  Ajax has found that sweet spot.”

Also touring with the Governor was Director of Labor Standards and Apprenticeship John Aiken. “Ajax is a flagship for what’s going on in manufacturing in Minnesota,” Director Aiken said. “We have a tremendous, tremendous relationship.  They’ve been amazing partners to work with.”

Ajax Vice President Don Wellman said his company was honored to be the Governor’s first tour stop. “Governor Walz understands that workforce development drives quality and customer satisfaction,” Don said. “That’s why Ajax customers value these programs. They know they’ll get a better product and a better experience.”

Ajax provides factory tours, technology and machinery demonstrations, and career opportunity presentations each year to area students and their families during Manufacturing Week. This year’s tour date at Ajax is Thursday, October 3.

About Manufacturing Week in Minnesota

Manufacturing Week in Minnesota runs from October 1 to 7, 2019.  During this week, Governor Walz and his staff members will tour the state to highlight the importance of manufacturing to the state’s economy, and the critical need for continuing investment in workforce development.

Key facts about manufacturing in Minnesota[1]:

  • Manufacturing added $52.7 billion to Minnesota’s economy in 2018, representing the second largest contribution (14 percent) to the state’s gross domestic product by any industry.
  • Manufacturing workers took home $21.6 billion in wages from Minnesota manufacturing jobs in 2018, the second-largest total payroll among private sector industries.
  • Manufacturing exports brought $21 billion into the Minnesota economy in 2018.
  • Manufacturing in Minnesota pays an average annual wage of $67,098, which is 15 percent higher than the state’s overall average wage.
  • Manufacturing provides 322,000 skilled, well-paying jobs, which significantly contribute to Minnesota’s high standard of living and economic vitality.