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Boom & boomers: Retirements prompt creative staffing plans

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in Hiring,Human Resources

Companies in rural Minnesota have had to take drastic steps to lure workers to their doors. In particular, manufacturing firms outside the Twin Cities are scrambling to replace retiring baby boomers just as business is booming.

In Glenwood, airfreight equipment manufacturer WASP (it makes things like loading ramps and freight conveyer belts) offered $1 million in incentives to convince aging workers to stay. But, even with double overtime pay, it couldn’t retain enough staff.

In desperation, the company purchased nearby crop-sprayer manufacturer FAST, primarily just to get their workers. WASP benefitted by adding another line of business, but also cross-trained FAST workers to perform jobs in WASP’s core business.

Other rural Minnesota firms offer tuition reimbursement, specialized training, health clinics and day care to attract employees. One firm even flies in workers from Mexico and provides housing during the seven months a year they work in Minnesota.

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