by Rachel Vilsack

Many of Minnesota’s largest companies – and employers – are multinational, which means they manage production or deliver services in more than one country. Many more businesses export their products or services. In fact, Minnesota-based companies exported $20.3 billion worth of goods in 2011, and there are plans to double exports in the next five years. Exporters have an impact on our economy, and their success on a global scale can become a source of new jobs in Minnesota.


For job seekers and people in career transition, connecting with a Minnesota exporter may be an incredible opportunity to leverage your skill set –  particularly if you’ve lived, worked, or studied overseas or are fluent in another language. Working for a company that exports internationally, however, won’t require that you leave Minnesota. It’s estimated that 97 percent of Minnesota exporters are small- and medium-sized companies, in nearly all industry sectors.


To target local businesses that export or conduct business internationally, there are many great resources:

  • Visit the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM). ELM allows you to access useful databases, including Business Source Premier and ProQuest Newsstand Complete. (Use Business Source Premier to browse country reports to find country-specific career guides; and use ProQuest Newsstand Complete to find news articles about companies doing business abroad.)
  • Access business lists to help identify international companies and networking opportunities. Some good lists include, Forbes Global 2000Fortune 500 Global, and Trade Supports Jobs.
  • There are many international Chambers of Commerce organizations located in Minnesota, which are great ways to identify companies and network with employers.
  • Don’t forget to check your public library for even more resources to research international employers. Databases like D&B Million Dollar Directory and ReferenceUSA can help you identify Minnesota exporters and Minnesota businesses with foreign parent companies. (If you are a Twin Cities resident, you can access many of these resources from your library’s website. Greater Minnesota residents can register their library card with Hennepin County to gain access remotely.)


Whatever your job search or career path, consider looking global.


Stay tuned for part 2 in this series: Looking Global – How to Conduct an International Job Search.