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Hometown Ethanol Plants Create Rural Opportunities

  • Wednesday, 03 May 2017 15:01

On April 18, we brought 21 students from Minneota High School to the ADM Corn Processing plant in Marshall. Like the many other school tours we’ve organized, this visit gave the students a deeper understanding of the ethanol industry and potential career opportunities in the industry.

In fact, following the tour, we were notified by the school that several students plan on applying for jobs at ADM Corn Processing once they’ve graduated.

We hear stories like these all the time and it’s one of the reasons why in the past 15 months, we’ve brought over 300 students to various ethanol plants in Minnesota.

The ethanol industry is a big economic driver and source of jobs in rural towns in Minnesota.

According to the 2016 Economic Report of the Minnesota Ethanol Industry, Minnesota’s 20 ethanol plants created $6.67 billion in gross sales for state businesses and supported nearly 18,000 jobs. And a large chunk of these sales and jobs were in rural Minnesota.

During the school tours, the students are briefed on the skills required to work in the ethanol industry as a plant employs a wide variety of professionals. For the business operations side, professionals with skills in business administration, finance, accounting, human resources and agriculture economics are required.

During one of tours last year, Highwater Ethanol’s CEO, Brian Kletscher explained, “By hosting students at our facility for tours, it is our goal to have them learn about the agriculture industry, ethanol industry and how important these two industries are in everyone’s life.”

Other jobs at ethanol plants include lab technicians, commodity managers, boiler operators, electricians and office administrators; every facet of the professional working class is needed to maintain these multi-million gallon a year facilities.

“We want students to know that there are indeed opportunities for fulfilling careers here at home in southwestern Minnesota and that those opportunities are for individuals at every skill, said Kayla Uphus, Human Resource Manager at ADM Corn Processing.

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Students from Long Prairie Grey Eagle High School touring Benson's Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company.