Gov. Walz Visits Plymouth Manufacturing Firm
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz (DFL) visited a manufacturing firm in Plymouth on Tuesday, July 19 to highlight the accomplishments of the latest legislative session.
Walz stopped in at Bühler, a manufacturing and food processing equipment firm.
He used the visit to celebrate advances in workforce development.
“Bühler is an example of how this is working,” Walz said. “In conjunction with Hennepin County Tech, we’re seeing that these public-private partnerships around apprenticeship programs are an incredible path to a good paying, middle class job that is producing the machines that we’re going to need, especially in farm country to process these.”
Plymouth Manufacturing Business Touts Apprenticeship Programs During Walz Visit
The Plymouth location is Bühler’s North American headquarters.
The company has 315 employees working in sales, technical support and project development.
The company also has an apprenticeship academy to train future engineers.
“Let’s hire somebody with experience — well we’re running out of that experience so you have to grow your own,” said Tracy Bayer, vice president of human resources for North America at Bühler. “You have to develop your talent. So the case of ‘what ifs’ and the fear of not, you should be more fearful of not doing it.”
The three-year program includes on-the-job training, pay, a 401k and healthcare for apprentices.
“We’re just positioning ourselves for the future of the talent,” Bayer said. “But also our passion is to educate other people on how to do it too. It doesn’t happen overnight but it’s easy to implement. You can start with one apprentice, and it’s not that hard but it’s so important to set the business up for success.”
The legislature allocated $20 million to workforce development for the trades, manufacturing and technology during the last legislative session.
“The issue is making high quality of life for folks, making sure we have pathways to real, long-term, sustaining careers,” Walz said. “So yes, that’s our hope.”