Your Team


The mission of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission is to be a catalyst for economic growth of the greater Kandiyohi County Area.

2018 Goals

The EDC’s boards identified four overarching goals on which to focus their efforts:

  1. Childcare
    • Increase the number of childcare options, including diverse childcare options, available for the workforce in Kandiyohi County and in the region. 
    • Secure sustainable solutions for existing and new childcare centers and family childcare providers, including diverse childcare.
  2. Diverse Business Initiative
    • Examine the possibility of implementing a Diverse Business Retention Expansion (BRE) Phase II Program during 2018, including businesses located outside of Willmar.
    • Consider receiving and administering the Willmar Area Multicultural Business Center (WAM‑BC) loan portfolio.  WAM-BC has seven active loans around Kandiyohi County.  WAM‑BC prefers to focus on technical assistance and less on financial assistance.
    • Seek to establish a self-sustaining diverse workforce training program in partnership with Ridgewater College, CLUES, Central Minnesota Jobs & Training Services (CMJTS), Carris Health/Rice Memorial Hospital, Bethesda and others.
  3. Opportunity Zones
    • Designate Opportunity Zones, for one to three tracts in Kandiyohi County to encourge development of housing or commercial businesses in low to moderate income areas that are considered eligible.
    • Encourage investment for new commercial and housing projects in designated Opportunity Zones in Kandiyohi County.
    • Facilitate and secure new commercial and housing projects in Kandiyohi County Opportunity Zones.
  4. Transportation Infrastructure
    • Implementation of Willmar Railroad Wye project on the west side of Willmar bypassing the downtown and installation of rail spur to Willmar Rail Park by 2021.
    • Completion of the Minnesota Highway 23 four-lane corridor between Willmar and I-94, including the two gaps north and south of Paynesville by 2024. 
    • Construction of the County Road 5/55 bridge over railroad tracks just north of new Highway 23 bridge on the southwest side of Willmar. 
    • Increase operations at Willmar Municipal Airport by 25% by 2020.

2017 Strategic Plan

We will work with you to make your business a success in Kandiyohi County. To receive information or assistance from our Economic Development staff, please call or send us an email with your request details.

Economic Development Staff

Aaron Backman
Executive Director

Connie Schmoll
Business Development Specialist