Mission Statement: AMFA is member-driven organization helping to strengthen and grow the manufacturing and fabrication industries in northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin.
History: AMFA was formed in 1997 by a grass-roots effort led by a handful of area entrepreneurs who felt the manufacturing industry would benefit from an organized effort to provide networking opportunities, local training and education offerings, joint marketing efforts, group buying, a legislative voice, and more. The founding membership of 11 companies has grown to more than 100 companies today.
Membership meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month (excluding summer months), with the location typically rotating between Duluth and the Iron Range. The meetings feature speakers on topics of interest to manufacturers, manufacturing plant tours, and a chance to network with industry peers. The association also produces a monthly newsletter, Shoptalk.
The AMFA Educational Trust was formed in 2001 to address education and workforce issue in the region, particularly the lack of skilled labor available for manufacturing positions. The Educational Trust hosts golf and beer tasting fundraisers each year – the primary source of funding for the organization.
Collaboration: AMFA, working in conjunction with Tri-State Manufacturers’ Association, launched the Midwest Manufacturers’ Association in 2001. With an office in Elbow Lake, MN, MMA is a “shared office” that provides services and programs to trade associations. Members have particularly benefited from the TriFac Fund, a workers compensation self insurance program, and Hahn Health Care.
AMFA was a founding member of the Minnesota Manufacturers Coalition in 2004. This organization serves as a unifying voice for manufacturers on issues that impact their competitiveness and raises the visibility of the importance of manufacturing to Minnesota’s economic health.