Ready to ditch your crummy cube and pink-slip worries for something better? Consider these high-flying companies that aren’t just surviving, but thriving.
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So you want to save the planet...
Choose: Alternative Energy
With our plentiful plains, year-round sun, and rich croplands, the upper Midwest—especially Minnesota, with its highly educated workforce—is like alternative energy’s Saudi Arabia. Most desired in the growing world of clean energy production are skilled technicians who can install or maintain collection devices like wind turbines and solar panels—and they earn as much as $25 an hour. Engineers and executives take home close to $100,000 a year. Send your resumé to:
Converting the sun’s power into energy is the name of the game for Minneapolis-based TenKsolar, an independently owned designer and manufacturer of commercial, rooftop, solar-photovoltaic systems. Currently employing 50 engineers, operators, and business staff, the company plans to significantly expand its creative workforce: In the next five years, TenKsolar CEO Joel Cannon projects hiring between 500 and 1,000 employees. tenksolar.com
Outland Energy Services
Good with your hands? Not afraid of heights? Outland Energy Services, a five-year-old Canby-based company, may be the employer for you. Many folks install turbines, but according to president and COO Steve Scott, Outland succeeds by helping eager “wind miners” keep their mills running. Robust growth is expected for this company of 150-plus employees; by 2016, over 250 engineers, technicians, and office workers will likely be hired. Benefits include stock options, tuition reimbursement, free health insurance for single employees, and travel. outlandenergy.com
Innovative Power Systems
Founded in 1991, St. Paul-based Innovative Power Systems is the granddaddy of Minnesota’s alternative-energy startups. The firm’s 20 employees design, install, and service solar electric, solar thermal, and large residential wind systems. Thanks to federal subsidies and increased consumer interest in their products and services, sales manager Jamie Borell estimates annual employee growth of 30 to 50 percent over the next five years. Benefits include flexible scheduling and union wages. Jobs include sales, marketing, accounting, project management, and installation. ips-solar.com
The winds of change are shaping America’s energy horizon. The visionaries at Juhl Wind, a Woodstock-based developer and manager of community wind-farm projects, have positioned themselves to become one of the leaders of the new alternative-energy economy. Juhl has developed 15 wind farms, producing approximately 160 megawatts of wind power, with 16 new projects in development. Founder Dan Juhl estimates that payroll could double (from 19 employees to as many as 40) in the next five years. Needed most are project developers, technicians, and project managers. juhlwind.com
So you want to heal the sick...
We’re not getting any younger. So it’s no surprise that healthcare is one of the fastest-growing sectors of our economy. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development projects that the number of healthcare workers will increase by as much as 60 percent in the next 10 years. Employment options for well-credentialed workers abound, and full-time RNs can expect to take home around $70,000 a year; qualified med-tech managers and engineers can expect six figures. Send your resumé to:
As one of Minnesota’s largest networks of hospitals and clinics, HealthPartnersemploys some 10,000 healthcare professionals. Employee benefits include a strong healthcare package with free dental and eye care, and innovative options like the Healthy Benefits wellness program which includes classes on stress and weight management, smoking cessation, and high-cholesterol. The organization hires between 300 and 600 new employees each year. healthpartners.com/public
Sometimes bigger is better. Formed in 1986 by merging six of the east metro’s largest healthcare providers, HealthEast has grown to become an independent-care system of hospitals, clinics, and outpatient services. HealthEast employs 7,400 in Minnesota, adding 900 employees in 2009 alone. According to Vivian Tanniehill, HealthEast’s director of workforce acquisition, hiring will increase as baby boomers retire. Highest-demand positions include RNs, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, and lab and pharmacy workers. healtheast.org
For more than six decades, Medtronic has developed technology designed to treat debilitating chronic diseases. The multinational company, known for its generous benefits package and worker loyalty, has its headquarters in Minneapolis and more than 8,000 employees in the state. Many of Medtronic’s product lines, including cardiac defibrillators, neurostimulators, drug pumps, and pacemakers, serve an aging audience that grows larger every year, meaning that the company will need to keep hiring to meet demand. medtronic.com
Allina Hospitals & Clinics
It may be that just about any kind of healthcare professional can find a job at Allina. The regional network of hospitals and clinics employs 23,000 workers in Minnesota. Its employees drive ambulances, fix meals, deliver babies, take temperatures, and enter data, among other duties. Unique perks like an employee wellness program attract new hires, while a sense of mission help keep longtime employees on board. Hiring remains strong, according to David Kanihan, Allina’s director of marketing and communications: Just a few months ago, the company was looking to fill 900 positions. allina.com