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Central Region

central-minnesota-mapCentral Minnesota is a manufacturing stronghold, with several global manufacturing firms operating there.

The region is especially well known for its expertise in food processing, printing, furniture manufacturing, appliances, machinery and heavy equipment manufacturing.

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Advancing the Home Front

11/9/2016 10:09:32 AM

Luke Greiner

Central Minnesota is home to 49,280 military veterans, meaning nearly one-in-ten residents 18 years or older has served in the military. Pine County has the highest concentration of veterans in the region with 12.5 percent of the population 18 years or older, while 8.5 percent of Kandiyohi County adult residents have served in the military, just below Minnesota’s share statewide (8.7%).

Sometimes recognizing a veteran can be as easy as a passing glance at a license plate, a prior service cap, or possibly a USAA credit or debit card. While the physical cues can be subtle, the impact they have on the local economy is more profound.

Many veterans join the civilian labor force with extensive technical and leadership skills, allowing private and public organizations to benefit from their time in service. The skills and experiences veterans possess are boosted even further by education benefits, via tuition assistance and the G.I. Bill. Veterans can also receive employment services like training and guidance from organizations such as the VA and DEED’s Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP).

While veterans have experienced periods of higher than normal unemployment, most recent data suggests that they are enjoying the benefits of an expanding economy. The averaged median income of veterans in central Minnesota counties was $35,808 in 2014, compared to $29,574 for all civilians 18 years and older. Median income advantages for veterans range from $3,689 in Isanti County to $10,216 more for veterans in Kanabec County.

Although the most recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have added to the number of veterans in Central Minnesota, the bulk of veterans served during the Vietnam era.

Open the map and hover to see demographic and income statistics for veterans. Select one or more counties to find out when veterans served who reside in your county. (Hold Ctrl to make multiple selections.)

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For More Information

For more information, contact Luke Greiner at 320-308-5378 or email Luke.Greiner@state.mn.us.

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