Blooming Prairie manufacturers attend appreciation luncheon

Published 10:12 am Thursday, October 8, 2015

By Ashley Stewart

Owatonna People’s Press

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — In Blooming Prairie, a city of nearly 2,000 people, manufacturing is an important industry in the community.

Email newsletter signup

In fact, the industry, which includes at least 10 manufacturers, employs more than 200 people.

“We can’t say enough about our manufacturing community,” said Becky Noble, Blooming Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce director. “People can’t believe a community our size has a manufacturing base so big. We’re excited and happy to have you here.”

And Wednesday afternoon, the chamber, in partnership with the Blooming Prairie Economic Development Authority, hosted the annual appreciation luncheon at city hall to celebrate the manufacturing community and its contributions to the city over the years.

“We’re proud to have such good manufacturers in Blooming Prairie,” Noble said. “This is our small way of saying, ‘Thank you.’”

Representatives from the community’s manufacturers received certificates of appreciation during the luncheon, where Luke Swenson, chamber president, echoed Noble’s sentiments.

“Thank you all,” he said. “We appreciate it.”

David Price, Arkema plant manager, said the luncheon is one way the community shows it appreciates the manufacturers.

“This shows the commitment of the community,” he said. “There’s no doubt they believe in what we do, and these help with it.”

Price said, although he’s only been at Arkema for a year, he knows Blooming Prairie is different because of its manufacturing base.

“I don’t necessarily know that this is unique, but it feels pretty unique to me,” he said.

Employees from Extreme Powder Coating, Tandem Products, Inc., Holman Insurance, Heavy Metal, Metal Services and Minimizer also attended the event.

Gary Smith, president of the Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc., and Elaine Garry, co-chair of the economic committee as part of the Journey to Growth initiative, spoke about manufacturing in southeastern Minnesota and the importance of cooperation in the future to be successful throughout the region, state and nation together.

The Blooming Prairie luncheon is part of Minnesota Manufacturers Week, a statewide public celebration.