Running With the Wind: Trends in the Wind Energy Industry


by Cameron Macht

Recently, labor market analyst Kate Aitchison reviewed job vacancy survey findings in the biofuels and wind energy industries.  Today, Cameron Macht, labor market analyst for the Central and Southwest Minnesota region, takes a more in-depth look at trends that are driving employment growth in the wind energy industry—both statewide and in southwest Minnesota.

 

By most measures, Minnesota is a national leader in the wind energy industry. Minnesota ranks first in the percentage of its electricity generated from wind, has the fourth-largest amount of installed wind power capacity, and has the ninth-highest wind energy potential in the U.S. As the industry continues to grow, there will be more opportunities for jobseekers.

 

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Jobs in the Wind Power Industry


by Kate Aitchison

The biofuel production and wind power industries have both experienced a lot of growth in the state in recent years.  Both are expected to help lead the way to Minnesota’s greener and more renewable energy future. What are the employment opportunities in these industries?  Do you have what employers are looking for? This two-part series by Labor Market Analyst Kate Aitchison explores results from Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED’s) semi-annual Job Vacancy Survey and provides ideas on how you can move into these fields.  Last week’s installment offered insights on jobs in the biofuels industry. Today’s takes an in-depth looks at jobs in the wind power industry.  

 

Part 2: Wind Power

 

What are the jobs like?

The wind power industry has been growing steadily in Minnesota over the past years. There are 84 wind farms spread throughout Minnesota where the turbines generate electricity as the wind blows. Additionally, there are construction companies, development professionals and plenty of support and maintenance positions in this field. The Job Vacancy Survey focused on those workers who help operate and maintain wind turbines.

 

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Jobs in the Biofuels Industry


by Kate Aitchison

The biofuel production and wind power industries have both experienced a lot of growth in the state in recent years.  Both are expected to help lead the way to Minnesota’s greener and more renewable energy future. What are the employment opportunities in these industries?  Do you have what employers are looking for? This two-part series by Labor Market Analyst Kate Aitchison explores results from Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED’s) semi-annual Job Vacancy Survey and provides ideas on how you can move into these fields.  Today’s installment takes an in-depth looks at jobs in the biofuels industry.  Next week’s will offer insights on jobs in the wind energy production industry.

 

Part 1: Biofuels

 

What are the jobs like? 

Biofuels refer to transportation fuels made from organic materials.  The most common biofuel is ethanol, a fuel usually made from corn.  Biodiesel is the other main biofuel, and it is typically made from soybeans or other natural oils.   

 

Jobs in these types of plants are similar to those in other manufacturing settings, with the majority of people working in production facilities. Minnesota has 21 ethanol plants and 5 plants that make biodiesel. These 26 locations had an average of 18 job openings when they were surveyed over the past two years. Most of the people working in this field were offered wages between $49,000 and $55,000 per year. 

 

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Why You Haven’t Gotten a Job Offer (Yet)


by Teri Fritsma

It’s not an ideal time to be job hunting.  Here in Minnesota, there are about 8 job seekers for every job vacancy (to put that in perspective, there were fewer than 3 in 2007). If you’ve been on the market for weeks, months, or longer, it’s quite possible that the sheer number of job seekers is the reason you haven’t gotten a job offer.  You’re competing with dozens or even hundreds of other applicants for each position you apply for, and a lot is out of your control.

 

Still, if you’ve been at it awhile, try reading the signals you’ve been getting from prospective employers to see what, if anything, is going wrong.  Do the scenarios below apply to you?

 

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8 Things Older Workers Should Look for in their Companies


by Teri Fritsma

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2030, nearly 20% of the American population will be 65 or older, compared to just 12.4% in 2000.  As these workers retire, the U.S. could face serious worker and skill shortages.  Even in the midst of today’s record high unemployment, some firms are getting the jump on this threat by introducing senior-friendly policies and work arrangements.  Based on a recent report from the Urban Institute, here are eight features that mature workers can look for in their company that make it easier to continue working later in life.

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