Wisconsin and Minnesota exports increase in 2013

Manufacturers in Minnesota and Wisconsin reported an increase in exports in 2013, which is a good sign the manufacturing industry in these states will thrive in 2014.

During the first three quarters of 2013, Wisconsin exports totaled $17.4 billion, according to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Although this is a small drop from the same time period in 2012, certain sectors showed increases. Medical and scientific instruments, vehicles and parts, plastics, paper and paperboard, dairy, furniture and bedding exports increased at least 0.85 percent. WEDC stated medical and scientific exports attributed to almost 10 percent of Wisconsin's total exports during the period, which came to a sum of $1.67 billion. Lora Klenke, vice president of international business development for WEDC, said in an interview with The LaCrosse Tribune the state's manufacturing presence is growing.

"Last year, in 2012, we had a record of $23.1 billion (worth of exports)," Klenke said. "We are expecting to either meet or exceed that for 2013."

Increased business
One of the medical and scientific manufacturers that benefited in 2013 was VeriCor LLC, which provides hospitals with amenities such as mobile emergency rooms and alternate care centers. Luther Olson, marketing director for VeriCor, said in an interview with The Tribune their business is improving each day.

"We are constantly improving our systems," Olson said. "Developing new Response-Friendly products as preparedness needs arise. Last year we saw a 23 percent increase in sales from 2012."

Minnesota activity on the rise
Minnesota – another Midwest inhabitant - also posted positive numbers over the past year. Exports, which include agriculture and mining products, increased 0.8 percent from 2012 to 2013. Further good news was reinforced by the outcome from a survey conducted by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Among the manufactures who were surveyed, 91 percent believed they would increase production and add more employees in 2014. Katie Clarke Sieben, DEED commissioner, said in a statement manufacturing should help the state's economy in the coming year.

"Based on the results of the annual Manufacturing Business Conditions Survey, manufacturers have a positive outlook for 2014," Sieben said. "Manufacturing is an integral part of the state's economy and it's reassuring to hear industry leaders expect stability and growth for the coming year."

Production may thrive as well as 93 percent of those who responded to the survey believed the would increase productivity in 2014.

Manufacturers who need to meet demands can seek out manufacturing recruiters to help them experienced workers.