by Teri Fritsma

If you’re considering a career in healthcare, information technology, engineering, manufacturing, energy, or transportation, there’s a new website available to help you get the scoop on what employers in these industries say they really need in their workers—right now and in the years to come.


The website is called Employers Speak: Minnesota Workforce Needs, and  the information it contains comes from the Workforce Assessment initiative, sponsored by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, and DEED. During the spring of 2012, these agencies hosted nearly 50 different listening sessions with employers all over the state last spring to hear about what they’re looking for—and in some cases, not finding—in the workers they hire.


Use the tool to select an industry and a topic you’re interested in learning more about. For example, if you’re thinking of a career in manufacturing and want to know how to make yourself more marketable for the jobs of the future, you may be interested in hearing what manufacturing employers have to say about trends in that industry. You can select ‘Manufacturing’ and ‘Industry Trends’ on the tool’s home page, and then read specific quotes from real employers on the issue. Some examples include:


  • “We’ve got also aging machines in a lot of factories. We’re looking at getting systems upgraded. We’re going to continue to pursue higher technology to be able to get the type of quality and safety and work environment we need.”


  • “Technology is huge. We’re moving into mobile apps in different ways to connect with people and network and build a bench there.”


  • “Everything is now computerized, even shipping.”


As more listening sessions take place in the coming months, the website,, will include employer quotes from more industries, including agriculture, mining/forestry/logging, financial services, and construction. Stay tuned—and stay marketable!