August 20, 2015 by Gwen Burrow
On July 1, the Smithsonian opened an exhibit featuring medical innovations in Minnesota’s famous Medical Alley, a region encompassing Minneapolis-St. Paul and 40 miles south to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and home to hundreds of healthcare organizations and medical device companies. (See the online exhibit.)
A key economic player in Medical Alley is the medical device cluster—a group of eight industries that deal directly with medical devices (as defined by Greater MSP). Over 3% of the gross regional product comes from these industries that pump $7.1 billion into the local economy annually:
Nationally, the medical device cluster makes up 411,900 jobs with average annual earnings of $97,677. The largest industry within the cluster is surgical and medical instrument manufacturing, which alone makes up 118,419 of those jobs. What sorts of occupations are we talking about? A lot of production jobs: Team assemblers; dental laboratory technicians; inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers; electrical & electronic equipment assemblers; machinists; and the like make up over 40% of all jobs in the sector.
But let’s explore a larger map. Medical Alley isn’t the only hotspot for the medical device cluster. The following infographic ranks the top 10 US metropolitan areas according to greatest number of medical device-related jobs. (Naturally, the region covering Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington-Rochester takes the lead.)
A few big-picture observations:
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