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Hot Jobs

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.

Hot Jobs
Photo by Todd Buchanan

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So you want to feed people...

Choose: Food Products

Everybody’s got to eat, so it makes sense that even in the most trying of times companies that produce food are some of the healthiest in our economy. That’s particularly true in Minnesota, where employers focused on the design, production, and manufacturing of food products are some of the most economically viable in the state. Think employee longevity and loyalty, strong benefit packages, competitive salaries, and an opportunity to blend science with sustenance. Send your resumé to:


Chances are there’s at least one box of cereal in your kitchen. According to Linda Fisher, consumer communications manager for the Malt-O-Meal Company, cereal can be found in 90 percent of U.S. households, making it a $7.2 billion-dollar industry. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Malt-O-Meal employs some 1,700 workers nationwide, representing a significant piece of the breakfast pie. In fact, one out of every 10 bowls of cereal consumed in the United States is one of MOM’s products. malt-o-meal.com

General Mills

Looking for an employer with deep Minnesota roots? Look no further than General Mills, a multinational food producer that began in 1866 when Cadwallader Washburn built a flourmill on the banks of the Mississippi River. Today, General Mills employs more than 5,500 workers in Minnesota. Cereal is still at the company’s core, but expansion into international products like Wanchai Ferry frozen dumplings helps keep the Mills turning. Hiring continues to move at a healthy pace, with increased emphasis on engineering, marketing, sales, and sourcing. generalmills.com

Merlin Development

If you dream of sharing your brownies with the world, you’ll quickly discover that there’s more to creating a best-selling food product than finding space on a grocery store shelf. Since 1989, Merlin Development, a Plymouth-based food-product development and research firm, has been helping tiny- to-Titanic-sized companies ready their food products for national distribution. Merlin employs just nine full-time workers, but its number of consultants and contractors nearly doubles under deadline or when projects pile up, says company founder Leslie Skarra. Benefits include a flexible office environment and an opportunity to think creatively while working with the industry’s biggest names. merlindevelopment.com


They’re not just making bacon at Hormel. The 120-year-old Austin-based firm has grown from a pork processor into an international producer of meat-based food products, including such popular brands as Chili Master Chili, Compleats Microwave Meals, and Bacon Bits. Hormel’s nearly 8,000 Minnesota employees can expect entry-level salaries ranging from $45,000 to $50,000, competitive benefits, and an environment that was recently recognized as one of the best places to work for recent grads by one ratings service. In the next half-decade, Hormel officials estimate they’ll hire around 260 salaried workers in Minnesota.

So you're a computer geek...

Choose: IT

If Java and Python conjure visions of computer languages instead of Starbucks and serpents, you can write your ticket in the information-technology industry. Employers are clamoring for people with expertise in computer systems, says Andy Ditlevson, associate director of career services at St. Cloud State University. “I’ve been talking to Minnesota employers who say they’re not just short now, but they expect to continue to have a tough time finding good candidates,” he says. Send your resumé to:

Nerdery Interactive

We wouldn’t be surprised if Nerdery Interactive’s employees prefer working overtime to going home: From a free breakfast bar and delivered lunch to chair massages at its Bloomington headquarters, this organization of self-proclaimed web nerds has perks rivaling those at Google. Think you’re ready to tap one of the company’s kegs on Friday afternoons? The firm will be adding about 100 people to its 160-person staff next year, focusing on web development for advertising and marketing agencies. Workers say they thrive in an environment where ideas are respected, management is approachable, and a fridge containing Red Bull is always just a few steps away. nerdery.com

Harbinger Partners

Tired of feeling like a meaningless cog in a gigantic corporate machine? Harbinger Partners, a St. Paul-based IT staffing firm, may be the perfect solution. With just 33 employees in Minnesota—all who report directly to the company president—it’s impossible to get lost in the shuffle. Harbinger plans to add at least a dozen positions in the next five years, and every employee works from a client office or from home. Loyalty is richly rewarded: Salaried employees can purchase stock after just six months, and instead of useless anniversary trinkets, employees get rewarded in cold, hard cash—$5,000 after five years, $10,000 after 10. harbinger-partners.com

GNET Group

If the folks at GNET seem to use the word “family” a lot, it may be because the entire company probably isn’t much bigger than the crew you had around the table at Thanksgiving dinner. But things could soon change for the St. Paul-based company, which provides business intelligence and performance management consulting services: Its 16-person staff is poised to grow by more than 60 percent in 2011 alone. In addition to standard benefits, employees can also take advantage of flextime. gnetgroup.com

Comments may be edited for length, clarity, or appropriateness.

Old to new | New to old
Mar 7, 2011 03:42 pm
 Posted by  hdvroom

Really? I can't believe that you listed Medtronic in your Feb edition as one of the high-flying companies that aren’t just surviving, but thriving when this Feb they announced a layoff. Doesn't seem that this article has a finger on the pulse of MN companies...disappointing to say the least.

Apr 1, 2011 01:24 pm
 Posted by  MichelleASiebert

Also, be sure to check out www.Avtex.com if you want to get on the fast-track with a market-leading IT solutions provider.

Jul 19, 2011 04:21 pm
 Posted by  mwilli

Make sure you check out mentormate.com for another great twin cities based IT solutions company. It has expertise in web development, mobile application development, and business software development.

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