What is Dream It. Do It. MN?

Dream It. Do It. is a national manufacturing careers recruitment strategy developed in 2005 by The Manufacturing Institute. Minnesota is one of approximately 33 states currently participating in the Dream It. Do It effort. Which was created to attract workers to fill the approximately 600,000 open manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Its focus is to increase awareness of the high paying, high quality career opportunities available in manufacturing.

Dream It. Do It. Minnesota introduces the world of today’s advanced manufacturing and provides resources to engage students, parents, educators, and manufacturers. Minnesota Dream It. Do It. provides useful information to inspire and build a talented pipeline of youth who understand what manufacturing is and what skills and education are needed to prepare for a career in manufacturing.

The purpose of the Dream It. Do It. Campaign in MN

  • Inspire young people to prepare for and seek careers in Advanced Manufacturing
  • Improve the public’s image of manufacturing
  • Influence schools, parents, and guidance counselors to embrace manufacturing careers
  • Involve Minnesota Manufacturers in a leadership role


“Most people don’t realize that you can directly be involved in making parts for things like cutting edge surgical processes, race cars, and even land rovers that go to Mars.”  – Ben Martin, Applications  Engineer @Hegman Machine

Made in Minnesota

There are so many incredible products and parts made right here in Minnesota. Here are a few examples:

Types of Careers

So, what would you be doing in manufacturing? Well, if you love to create you might want to be an engineer that designs products. If you really like working with your hands or are interested in robotics you could find yourself in production. Whatever your interests are, we guarantee you can find an area to channel your energy in manufacturing. Here are a few examples of cool things manufacturers do every day:

  • Work with robots
  • Travel around the world
  • Find new ways to make processes more efficient
  • Design new innovative products

Explore More Through the Manufacturing Career Tool


Manufacturing careers provide a great lifestyle.

Manufacturing jobs are dependable, their work environments are positive, and many of them can support their family comfortably with one income. It’s also a great place to get more involved in the things you’re passionate about. Think about some of the things you like – music, clothes, cars, computers, etc. Why not be a part of making those things? Think about it.





Dream It. Do It. Minnesota is led by the Minnesota State Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence, a manufacturing-based center of excellence. 360 develops the future workforce through Dream It. Do It. Minnesota. As a consortium of 15 institutions led by Bemidji State University and includes 14 other technical and community colleges, 360 is designing a 21st-century education system that prepares individuals to have rewarding careers in manufacturing and meets the needs of the region’s manufacturing employers through an enhanced pipeline, industry-driven curriculum, and authentic assessment. 360 is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and received a National Science Foundation grant in 2012 to become an Advanced Technological Education Regional Center.

To learn more about the Minnesota State Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence, contact Jeremy Leffelman, director, at 218-755-4222 or jeremy.leffelman@bemidjistate.edu or visit mnmfg.org.

Gold Sponsor:

This group of 300+ manufacturers came to Dream It. Do It. Minnesota in April 2012 to help bring the campaign statewide. Their funding and support has helped us drive our message all across Minnesota. Having been around for over 60 years, MPMA has a ton of initiatives to keep good people coming to the industry. The MPMA Educational Opportunities Foundation, Super Mileage Challenge, Minnesota Project Lead the Way, SkillsUSA Minnesota, and VEX Robotics are just a few of the ways you can benefit from connecting with MPMA. Not to mention the updated job posting and their free Precision Manufacturing Journal.

To learn more about how you can get involved with your local school district and/or technical college manufacturing related programs contact Luann Bartley at luann@mpma.com.

To learn more about MPMA, go to www.mpma.com, or call 952-564-3041.

Gold Sponsor:

Tri-State Manufacturers' Association logo

Founded in 1990, Tri-State Manufacturers’ Association (TSMA) TSMA is a membership organization serving manufacturers in west central Minnesota and eastern North and South Dakota.

TSMA’s manufacturing members range in size from the one-man shop to a handful with more than 200 employees and are primarily involved in metal manufacturing, with plastics, textiles, woods and foods also represented. The majority are contract manufacturers, along with some OEMs.

TSMA also encourages membership from those who provide services to manufacturers – such as consultants and financial, educational, and government institutions.

TSMA hosts general meetings on the first Tuesday of the month; typically in Alexandria, Fergus Falls, and other locations. The meetings include a manufacturing tour, guest speaker and dinner.

Workforce development efforts include a scholarship program, Dream It. Do It. program, and Tour of Manufacturing events. TSMA engages with local K-12 institutions by offering free membership, free meeting attendance, and a grant program to fund the purchase of equipment and tooling for K-12 manufacturing programs, along with funding for robotics teams, field trips, and more.

Dozens of TSMA members benefit from the Trifac Workers Compensation Fund.

TSMA is affiliated with Midwest Manufacturers’ Association, along with Arrowhead Manufacturers & Fabricators Association (AMFA), Lakes Area Manufacturers Alliance, and Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association (CMMA).

Silver Sponsor:

Minnesota Works Logo Ideas 13


Minnesota Department of  Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has the right tools and expertise to help your business start strong and stay strong. One key resource, the Made in Minnesota Directory, can make it easy for your company to find – and be found – by home state suppliers. And more and more manufacturers are discovering the directory with nearly 900 listed.
The Made in Minnesota Directory is a free online directory of products and suppliers with products manufactured in Minnesota. Working with local suppliers can save you time, money and promote the local economy. The directory is available to virtually anyone from anywhere.
Find components and final goods, from food and shoes to sanding belts, CNC machining and molding injection. Search by key word, industry, county, renewable energy products and potential buyers and suppliers.
Contact information, top products and number of employees are accessible with few clicks. Choose from any of the options in the directory since they can be combined to bring you more specific results.
The directory is simple for manufacturers to use and register their businesses, and any business with manufacturing operations in Minnesota is eligible to register in the directory.

Silver Sponsor:

WCI New Logo-no tagline-darker state


West Central Initiative is a regional community foundation that serves nine counties in west central Minnesota: Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin. WCI invests and helps leverage resources in our communities for regional success; and success for WCI means thriving families, communities and businesses–it’s all inter-related! WCI works with many partners, using the tools of economic development, community development and promoting philanthropy to help people and communities create a better tomorrow for west central Minnesota.

Silver Sponsor:

Logo MMA [Converted]


Bronze Sponsor:


Pro Staff and Ware Technology Services are part of the Atterro family of staffing firms. Both are committed to supporting local manufacturers and backing programs like Dream It. Do It. and their Statewide Tour of Manufacturing.

For over three decades, Atterro has served clients through its five specialty brands: Pro Staff for administrative and light industrial, Ware Technology Services for engineering, Digital People for creative, interactive and marketing, Hunter Hamilton for finance and accounting, and Technical ProSource for information technology. All are dedicated to providing a reliable workforce and creating a great place for talented people to work.

For more information, visit www.atterro.com.




Our roots go back to 1947 when McGowan Welding Supply of Little Falls opened for business.  Soon after, Central Welding Supply of St. Cloud was established as a small supplier of welding equipment and gases.  The two companies later joined forces in the mid-60s to form Central McGowan Inc. Its been through the efforts of dedicated employees, changes in  business methods, and software development that we’ve grown our services and product offering to reach more than 40,000 square miles of Minnesota.


Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association logoFounded in 2008, Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association is a membership organization serving manufacturers in greater St. Cloud. Membership in CMMA is open to manufacturers and those providing services to manufacturers – such as consultants and financial, educational, and government institutions. CMMA hosts general meetings on the fourth Thursday of the month. These breakfast meetings include a manufacturing tour, industry updates, and a “best practices” presentation. CMMA engages with local K-12 institutions by offering free membership, free meeting attendance, and grant funding. CMMA is affiliated with Midwest Manufacturers’ Association, along with Arrowhead Manufacturers & Fabricators Association, Lakes Area Manufacturers Alliance, and Tri-State Manufacturers Association.



Since 1898, Coldspring has served the architectural, memorial, residential and industrial markets with all types of natural stone, bronze, and industrial and diamond-tooling products.  With headquarters, a primary manufacturing facility and bronze foundry in Cold Spring, Minn., the company has 900 employees at operations across the country, including 30 quarries and four additional fabrication facilities. In 2016, the company’s headquarters, primary manufacturing operations and three Minnesota-based quarries received ANSI/NSC 373 Sustainable Production of Natural Dimension Stone certification. Coldspring’s in-house services and support such as drafting, design, BIM, and project and construction management contribute to creating unique customer solutions. Visit Coldspringusa.com.




GNP logo

GNP Company is a provider of premium branded and custom chicken products to retail, deli and food service customers nationally. Founded by E.M. Helgeson in 1926 and purchased in 2013 by Maschhoff Family Foods, GNP Company remains family-owned. It distributes products under the Just BARE®, Gold’n Plump® and Sunny Roost® brand names. Together, the company’s nearly 1,700 team members and about 350 family farm partners in Minnesota and Wisconsin bring millions of wholesome, high-quality chicken meals to American families. For more information about the company and its mission of “dedicated to healthy food, families and farms,” visit GNPCompany.com.


Mars Logo

The Mars Company was founded in 1924 to service the emerging iron mining and timber industries in Northern Minnesota. The company is built on the philosophy of “finding solutions” and “personal touch.” The entire Mars team is dedicated to personally making sure they take good care of their customers.




Park Industries logo

For over 60 years, Park Industries® has been designing, manufacturing, selling, and supporting solutions for the stone industry. Located in St. Cloud, MN, Park Industries currently employees over 250 associates as is the largest manufacturer of stone working equipment in the United States.


Productivity Inc logo


Rural Minnesota CEP logo

For 46 years Rural Minnesota CEP, Inc. (RMCEP) has served as the administrative entity for the Minnesota Workforce Service Area 2 Workforce Investment Board and provides the majority of staff in eight Workforce Centers in this region. Our focus is to support employers and job seekers in obtaining the necessary skills and knowledge for occupations in demand to strengthen the workforce development and economic success of rural Minnesota. RMCEP provides employment and training services through many programs, including Workforce Investment Act Programs, Minnesota State Dislocated Worker Program, Minnesota Family Investment Program, and Minnesota Youth Program. We believe that work is the key to a successful life!




VE Robotics Logo - Minnesota Wide

Founded in August 2007, VisualEdge Robotics is one of the largest VEX Robotics resellers in the United States and Minnesota’s official reseller. A development and education partner with VEX Robotics, VisualEdge (VE) sells almost exclusively to the education market in 11 states and has established itself as a leader and partner for the schools it services. VE is a company of educational and technical professionals, led by a team of seasoned robot designers and builders with over 40 combined years in competitive robotics. We are committed to promoting robotics education as an avenue of learning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) beyond what is typically found in the traditional classroom.

Event sponsor:

Construction Specialties 

Construction Specialties Inc. serves the upper Midwest, building and maintaining telescopic bleachers and outdoor stadiums. We are certified by Interkal Bleacher Systems in Kalamazoo, Michigan.


Event sponsor:

IPM Logo 4C 07-10

IPM is a contract manufacturing business, specializing in the production of power train components and is located in Waite Park, MN.   The company specializes in turning, milling, gear cutting, grinding and assembly work, utilizing some of the most up to date CNC equipment available.  IPM opened its doors in 1992 and currently has about 40 employees, operating out of 32,000 sq. ft.  The industries IPM produces products for are; off-highway, construction equipment, recreational vehicle, military, agriculture, fluid power along with others.

Event Sponsor:

Optimist Specialist