economic development

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,”

Construction Underway at third Willmar Kwik Trip Site

April 2, 2020

Construction Underway at third Willmar Kwik Trip Site
WILLMAR—Construction has begun on Willmar’s third Kwik Trip store, this one located in downtown. The building permit with the city of Willmar says the project is worth $2 million. Aaron Backman, executive director of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commissioner, said in an email to the West Central Tribune that construction is estimated to be completed by September. Kwik Trip had always planned on building three stores in Willmar, but delayed building the downtown

Interest grows in Willmar Renaissance Zone

February 27, 2020

Interest grows in Willmar Renaissance Zone
WILLMAR—Even though the Willmar Renaissance Zone is still in the planning and vetting process, word has already begun to spread amongst interested parties and developers. “We’ve had a lot of great feedback and a lot of great interest in the zone,” Willmar Planning and Community Development Director Dave Ramstad recently told members of the Willmar Planning Commission. The proposed zone would provide a host of economic development incentives to draw developers to the area and perhaps

Bethesda releases details of North Pointe expansion

February 22, 2020

Bethesda releases details of North Pointe expansion
NEW LONDON—During Tuesday’s Lion’s Club meeting at the Spicer American Legion, Bethesda administrators provided a public update on the $19.5 million development of Bethesda North Pointe—the new senior and assisted living center under construction along Peterson Parkway in New London. Bethesda’s Chief Development Officer Caroline Chan and Regional Director of Housing Carli Stensrud, offered a summary of the progress since groundbreaking took place last fall, and fielded questions from those

City planning for a revival of downtown Willmar with a proposed Renaissance Zone

January 15, 2020

City planning for a revival of downtown Willmar with a proposed Renaissance Zone
WILLMAR—While it is not exactly the dark ages in downtown Willmar, home to many successful businesses and low vacancy rates, there is also plenty of opportunity for development, whether it is upgrading an older building or constructing a project from the ground up. The area is already part of Willmar’s only Opportunity Zone, which provides capital gains tax breaks for those who invest in eligible projects. In an effort to bring even more development to the area and open it up to a larger

A Tiny 3D Printing Company in Central Minnesota Looks to Leave a Mark on the Med-Tech Industry

January 14, 2020

A Tiny 3D Printing Company in Central Minnesota Looks to Leave a Mark on the Med-Tech Industry
A small 3D print shop in central Minnesota is building parts for some of the state’s biggest companies. At DI Labs’ office about two hours west of Minneapolis, machines operate 24 hours a day printing prototypes of parts and thousands of other components for 3M, Toro, and a handful of other companies throughout the Upper Midwest and across the country. The company has built everything from full-sized aircraft fuselage to jigs and fixtures for manufacturing. Last month, DI Labs rounded out its