economic development

Willmar creates a Renaissance Zone

October 5, 2020

Willmar creates a Renaissance Zone
The City of Willmar is interested in creating the conditions for a strong and vibrant downtown area. To that end on May 4, 2020 the Willmar City Council adopted the Renaissance Zone, which is a new zoning overlay district encompassing the Central Business District and adjacent areas. The new Willmar Renaissance Zone  is a 5-year pilot program intended to encourage investment, job creation, development, creativity and vibrancy in the designated area. This district will offer greater flexibility relative

More than $2 million in COVID-19 relief awarded to businesses and nonprofits in Kandiyohi County

September 12, 2020

More than $2 million in COVID-19 relief awarded to businesses and nonprofits in Kandiyohi County
WILLMAR—When you add up all the money that has so far been awarded to small businesses and nonprofits through coronavirus relief programs run by the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, the total is more than $2 million. Since March the EDC has established a handful of grant or loan programs focused on providing financial relief to businesses in the county hit hard by economic impacts tied to the virus outbreak. The programs include the CARES Pandemic Relief Program,

Pandemic relief grants are actively helping Kandiyohi County businesses

August 28, 2020

Pandemic relief grants are actively helping Kandiyohi County businesses
WILLMAR—Kandiyohi County businesses and nonprofits are benefiting from the CARES Pandemic Relief Grant Program administered by the Kandiyohi County and city of Willmar Economic Development Commission. According to a news release from the EDC, a variety of businesses and nonprofits have applied and received more than $700,000 in grants. The businesses that have received the funds average 7.5 years in business with 167 full-time equivalent jobs. Read the full article at the West Central Tribune.

Willmar company could be game-changer in digital manufacturing

August 19, 2020

Willmar company could be game-changer in digital manufacturing
WILLMAR—Grabbing onto business opportunities that blend innovative engineering skills and rapidly advancing 3D printing technology, three brothers are expanding their role in digital manufacturing that could be a game-changer for all manufacturers—and a benefit to consumers. During a media tour Tuesday that included a live, virtual broadcast, Carl, Brian and Sean Douglass talked about their expanding business, DI Labs, at their new location in Willmar. DI Labs was started in 2013 in Spicer. As

New home of Ziegler CAT opens in Willmar

August 1, 2020

New home of Ziegler CAT opens in Willmar
WILLMAR—They say third time’s the charm and the new Ziegler CAT facility in Willmar definitely looks like a success. “It is the biggest showroom Ziegler has,” said Dave Ose, branch manager. Willmar is one of 27 Ziegler locations across Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri. The nearly 60,000-square-foot showroom and shop, located at 4600 Highway 71 S., is actually the power equipment dealer’s third store to be in Willmar. Ziegler first arrived in town in 2015 and set up

Simply Shrimp seeks state funds for expansion

June 27, 2020

Simply Shrimp seeks state funds for expansion
For aquaculture farmer Paul Damhof, putting up the “sold out” placard along his roadside billboard has become almost as much of a daily chore as checking the pH levels of his shrimp tanks. With customers across a 150-mile radius and few industry competitors to contend with, Blomkest shrimp farm Simply Shrimp LLC continues with meeting demand. “On weekends, holidays, it’s nothing to have 20, 30, 40 people driving up on the yard, “Damhof said. “It’s gone as soon as we get (shrimp) up

New poultry training program begins this fall at Ridgewater College and University of Minnesota

June 27, 2020

New poultry training program begins this fall at Ridgewater College and University of Minnesota
WILLMAR—A unique poultry education program created by the University of Minnesota, Ridgewater College in Willmar and industry leaders will be launched this fall. The multi-tiered program includes a series of courses at Ridgewater and the U of M that are designed to provide training to undergraduates and graduate students as well as those already working in the poultry industry. It’s hoped the program will help create a better-educated workforce, ranging from on-the-farm employees to those who

New Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services hospital opens in Willmar

June 24, 2020

New Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services hospital opens in Willmar
WILLMAR—Staff and patients are settling into the new children’s psychiatric hospital that opened earlier this month in Willmar. The Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services hospital is the only state-owned and -operated facility of its type in Minnesota. The hospital is designed for Minnesota children 4 to 18 years of age who have complex mental illness and behavioral disorders that are so severe the children cannot be treated in their home communities. Construction of the $10 million,

Buhler to halt Farm King manufacturing at Fargo

May 11, 2020

Buhler to halt Farm King manufacturing at Fargo
Work to move to company’s Minnesota plant Farm equipment maker Buhler Industries plans to gather its U.S. manufacturing work into one plant in Minnesota this summer and halt operations at nearby Fargo, N.D. The Winnipeg company, whose product lines include Versatile tractors and sprayers and Farm King application, tillage and hay equipment, said Monday it’s “optimizing” its U.S. production to boost efficiency and cut overhead costs at its factory at Willmar, Minn., about 140 km west of

Willmar’s Head Start to have a new home

April 8, 2020

Willmar’s Head Start to have a new home
WILLMAR—Living up to both of their names, United Community Action Partnership and Kandiyohi Power Cooperative are working together to create a larger and much needed space for the Head Start program operated by United Community Action Partnership. Kandiyohi Power Cooperative, with Marcus Construction, is renovating the cooperative’s building located on Highway 71 Northeast overlooking Willmar Lake, into the new home for Head Start in Willmar. “We really needed to find this space,”