SOAE 2020: This is Red Wing
Posted January 22, 2020
American energy abundance has been foundational to growth and opportunity across all business sectors – from agriculture and manufacturing, to logistics and banking. The natural gas and oil industry, and its extensive supply chain, supports job creation and consumer savings in U.S. communities like Red Wing, Minnesota.
API’s State of American Energy report spotlighted Southeastern Minnesota, where residents are experiencing the unique benefits of the U.S. energy revolution. Watch this video illustrating how the industry empowers local businesses, including the world-famous Red Wing Shoes:
Since 1905, Red Wing Shoe Company has been making boots, protective workwear, gloves, safety glasses and more. These items are essential to employees in construction and other skilled trades, and they are particularly important to the energy workforce – from the Permian Basin of West Texas to Southeast Asia. Because multiple heavy industries rely on their products, Red Wing likes to think of their boots as a “symbol of American manufacturing everywhere.”
Put simply, Red Wing is a small town with big ambitions. Home to the headquarters of 3M, Riedell and BIC Graphic – the parent company of several other well-known brands – this community of 16,000 has an oversized impact on the world. And that’s good news for the local economy. As of September 2019, the area’s unemployment rate was about one point lower than the national average, due in part to American energy production.
Minnesota Petroleum Council Executive Director Erin Roth commented:
“Across the country, the production of American energy resources is energizing local economies and improving millions of lives. In Minnesota, natural gas and oil fuels the state’s economy, supporting more than 117,000 jobs and contributing more than $14 billion to the state’s economy.”
For more than a century, industrial manufacturing and farming have driven the Red Wing economy. And today, perhaps more than ever, both are thriving in this part of the country thanks to abundant natural gas and oil. Minnesota State Senator Mike Goggin explained:
“Manufacturing is energy-intensive, and it’s our bread and butter. Low-cost energy helps to keep our facilities operating so that families here can continue to earn a decent living and enjoy all the things that make Red Wing so special.”
API’s report – “This is Energy Progress” – also profiled Minnesota Pipe Trades Association President David Ybarra, who noted that natural gas and oil activity has increased the demand for pipefitters to help build the necessary facilities, infrastructure and refineries associated with the shale boom. Given the growing opportunities in energy-related skilled professions, state school boards and high school administrators have responded with initiatives designed to prepare students for careers in pipe and building trades.
Enrollment in post-secondary apprenticeship programs remains strong, and for good reason – these jobs offer good wages, benefits and retirement. With natural gas and oil forecast to be in high demand for decades to come, energy infrastructure projects offer stable, long-term employment opportunities. For example, Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project is estimated to create 8,600 jobs in the state during construction.
In Minnesota’s industrial corridor, reliable energy resources are fueling a robust manufacturing sector and supporting small businesses with global reach. U.S. natural gas and oil empowers industries and benefits consumers, strengthening the regional economy while maintaining Red Wing’s local charm.
Read the in-depth profile of Red Wing here.
About The Author
Sam Winstel is a writer for the American Petroleum Institute. He comes to API from Edelman, where he supported communications marketing strategies for clients across the firm’s energy and federal government practices. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Sam graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina, and he currently resides in Washington, D.C.
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