By Starrla Cray
McLEOD, WRIGHT, CARVER COUNTIES, MN “Dream it! Do it!”
The slogan for the statewide tour of manufacturing is a fitting representation of local manufacturing companies many of which began generations ago with a dream and determination.
In 1933, for example, brothers Carl and Paul Millerbernd opened a welding and repair business in Winsted. From there, Paul founded Millerbernd Manufacturing Company, and Carl began Millerbernd Process Systems.
Today, Carl’s grandson, Brad Millerbernd, is the president of Millerbernd Process Systems, while Paul’s grandson, Trevor Millerbernd, is head of Millerbernd Manufacturing.
Both companies have expanded their facilities and capabilities over the years, and lead the industry with cutting-edge technology.
RiteWay Manufacturing in Lester Prairie is another intergenerational company, founded by Bob Green in 1999, as Rite Way Mechanical Installations. The business is now owned by Green’s daughter, Denise Johnson.
The third generation is Denise’s 17-year-old daughter, Stephanie Kellner, who enjoys working at RiteWay when she’s not in school. Someday, Kellner hopes to make RiteWay her full-time career.
A small sample of other manufacturing companies in the area includes Tetra Pak Cheese and Powder Systems (Tetra Pak CPS), Littfin Lumber, Dura Supreme, Sonstegard Food Company, Drill Pipe Inc, Lester Building Systems, AZZ Galvanizing Services, AWI Manufacturing, DiMax Corp., M&N Structures, Poly Foam, and many more.
Statewide, manufacturing employs 305,600 people, and contributes $40 billion to Minnesota’s economy, according to the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
DEED lists the six most common categories of manufacturing as: computer and electronic products, food manufacturing, fabricated metal products, machinery, printing, and miscellaneous (mostly medical devices).
During the last three days of manufacturers week, Oct. 24-26, companies throughout Minnesota are hosting tours of their facilities. For a list of participating places, follow the link at www.herald-journal.com to the “Dream it, Do it” website.
Tour RiteWay in LP
Manufacturers Week includes a statewide “Tour of Manufacturing,” in which the public is encouraged to tour participating manufacturing businesses.
RiteWay Manufacturing in Lester Prairie is hosting a tour Friday, Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Located at 2364 Highway 7, RiteWay can be reached at (320) 395-0142. The company is owned by Denise Johnson, and offers fabrication, machining, engineering, finishing, welding, assembly, and laser engraving.
For a full list of Minnesota companies participating in Manufacturers Week, go to dreamitdoitmn.com.