skip to content
Primary navigation

What We Make Overview

Manufacturing is at the heart of Minnesota’s vital economy. This diverse, technology-driven sector:

  • Contributes over $49.2 billion a year to the state’s economy
  • Accounts for the largest share of the state’s gross domestic product (16 percent)
  • Employs 323,618 workers
  • Has 8,343 manufacturers making a wide range of products

Manufacturing is growing in Minnesota – with employment in this sector rising 9 percent since 2010. Among those manufacturing industries that have seen the highest employment growth are:

  • Semiconductors and related device manufacturing: up 56 percent
  • Packaging and packaging equipment: up 29 percent
  • Fabricated metal: up 15 percent

Minnesota has strength in a broad range of industries. Among our most robust manufacturing clusters are:

  • Aerospace, sensors, semiconductors & robotics
  • Fabricated metal
  • Farm and agricultural equipment
  • Food production
  • Glass and window & door manufacturing
  • HVAC technologies and equipment
  • Medical devices
  • Packaging and packaging equipment
  • Vehicles

Headquartered in Minnesota are 19 Fortune 500 companies as well as Cargill, the nation’s largest privately held company.

Fortune 500s with major manufacturing operations include CHS, 3M, General Mills, Land O’Lakes, Ecolab, Hormel Foods, Mosaic and Polaris. Close to half of Minnesota’s Fortune 500 companies are involved in manufacturing.

Minnesota is also a great place for small manufacturers, with venture capital, incentives and other financing available.

The state ranked 2nd in the Midwest and 17th in the nation with nearly $500 million in venture capital investments in 2017. Banks in Minnesota lent over $580 million to 1,908 small businesses statewide through the Small Business Administration loan programs in 2017. Minnesota’s SBA office ranks 10th in its volume of SBA-backed loans.

Top Manufacturers

Among the top manufacturing companies are:

  • 3M
  • Cargill
  • CHS
  • Donaldson Co.
  • Ecolab
  • Fastenal
  • General Mills
  • Hormel Foods
  • Land O’Lakes
  • Medtronic
  • Mosaic
  • Pentair
  • Polaris
  • Toro

(Companies with more than $500 million in revenues.)

Source: ReferenceUSA

Exports Are Growing

The state exported $19 billion in manufactured products in 2017. Companies sent 1,000 different types of products to more than 200 countries worldwide. Exports of manufactured products have been growing – and are up 12 percent (adjusted for inflation) since the recession in 2009.

The state’s top export in 2017 was optics/medical products, with:

  • sales of $3.8 billion
  • up 8 percent from the previous year

Other top exports were:

  • Machinery
  • Electrical machinery
  • Vehicles
  • Plastics
  • Aircraft and spacecraft
  • Food by-products
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Meat
  • Ores, slag, ash

Other Countries Invest in Minnesota

More than 300 foreign-owned businesses – or about 40 percent of the almost 800 foreign-owned businesses in Minnesota – operate in manufacturing industries. They employ more than 42,000 people in the state and have an investment in plants and equipment valued at $8 billion.

For More

Contact us to find out more about manufacturing in Minnesota.

back to top