ELBOW LAKE (AP) - A growing number of Minnesota manufacturers are turning to robots amid a shortage of skilled workers.

Small companies are following the lead of larger manufacturers. Enterprise Minnesota president and CEO Bob Kill says a dwindling workforce is behind the increase in use of robots.

In a survey done last year by the Enterprise Minnesota, 67 percent of companies said they had trouble filling open jobs.

Robert Grove, who owns a small machine shop in Elbow Lake, says he invested nearly $250,000 in a robot a few months ago, saying it's "almost impossible" to find skilled machine operators in the city. He says the robot has boosted output, while also allowing workers to focus on using their skills.

Meanwhile, The Central Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council is holding an event at the River's Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud tomorrow (Wednesday). About 300 students from 17 area high schools will learn about jobs currently available in the construction industry.