Think of northwestern Minnesota as the state’s sugar bowl.
Abundant ag resources – from wheat to sugar beets – fuel the region’s thriving food processing industry. Sugar beets make a substantial contribution to the Minnesota-North Dakota economy. Standout food manufacturing firms include American Crystal, Dean Foods and Lamb Weston which together employ nearly 1,500 people.
The region is a hub of highly specialized industry. Northwest Minnesota has a large employment base – nearly 3,000 – in transportation vehicle design and manufacturing due to the presence of companies such as Polaris, Arctic Cat and New Flyer.
Minnesota’s 360° Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center of Excellence – led by Bemidji State University – is a collaborative of 10 colleges and major area employers to build and maintain a major workforce pipeline into advanced manufacturing sectors. 360° offers access to more than 60 specialized programs — certificates to master’s degrees, on site or online.
Northwest Minnesota has easy access to Twin Cities, Fargo, Duluth and Winnipeg due to two regional airports and global reach at the Grand Forks and Fargo International Airports. Closer to home, the northwest is a proven hiring ground for companies pursuing work on the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota.
The northwest is home to Red Lake and White Earth Indian Reservations and Minnesota’s largest lakes. Pristine natural landscapes, outstanding boating and fishing — especially for walleye — and resorts make the northwest region a popular year-round tourist destination. Tourism generated $322.5 million in gross sales in the region in 2013. Cass County – with the highest number of tourism-related jobs than any other county in northwest Minnesota – also reported some of the highest tourism spending in the state outside the Twin Cities.
Northwestern Minnesota is an ideal place to do business, thanks to a cost-competitive workforce with a high level of technical degree attainment; proximity to the Twin Cities; and great quality of life. More details about northwestern Minnesota are available here.