Scott_TaylorBy Dr. Scott Taylor, Small Business Management

April_2012_MN_MentorsIt's Looking Good Out There

We’ve reason to be smiling over the economy’s rebound. An informal survey among the Minnesota Mentors (AKA Small Business Management) shows that almost every sector of the economy is picking up. Even the stubborn construction sector shows signs of revival.

This is good news. With business picking up, job creation is not far behind. Who will add jobs first? Microbusinesses (those with 10 or less employees) create 80% of the jobs coming out of a recession. These are exactly the people Minnesota Mentors work with every day. Currently, microbusinesses ARE looking to hire people. Southern Minnesota is now at full employment in the skilled professions. Tool & die, drafting, plumbing, electricians have more jobs available than people to fill them. So, our work at SCC is even brighter. We will train this next generation of people wanting to work in these professions.

The Southwest Initiative Foundation (Hutchinson) reports that every day they have people starting new businesses and needing help. Fortunately, Duane Hoversten has cultivated a wonderful relationship with this agency. During this last month he has enrolled a florist, nursery, electrician, store manager and sign company on the recommendation of SWIF.

Not to be missed: Dan Sprague and Scott Taylor are not on the cover of the Rolling Stone. But they are at the center of a Minnesota Department of Transportation’s “brag” video being used internally to highlight the innovative work of MnDOT’s office of civil rights. At the centerpiece of MnDOT’s work is Minnesota Mentors’ program for training women and minority-owned businesses.

Chad Oudekerk reached across department boundaries and explained electronic marketing to Gene Kuntz’s (farm business management) specialty crop marketing class. Gene commented, “Chad’s explanation of how to create web pages for great design and effect was beneficial and really appreciated by the participants.”