As a result of a generous grant from the McKnight Foundation, the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation (BGAF) and its Clean Economy Manufacturing Center (CEMC) are driving an initiative in southwest Minnesota that helps interested and suitable manufacturing companies enter or further diversify into the renewable energy market sector.
The process includes on-site interviews, capability and compatibility analysis and then matchmaking to prospective original equipment manufacturers.
To compliment the work that CEMC conducted with manufacturers, BGAF met with policymakers and economic development professionals to hear their opinion on policy that could help manufacturers diversify. We learned that tax policies that help create a steady market work, and more are likely needed to continue good growth.
In addition, other programs may be needed to support the community and manufacturers as companies diversify. These programs would address worker training and retention, daycare support, worker/affordable housing and transportation.