News

Housing shortage continues to be a problem in Kandiyohi County

February 2, 2024

Housing shortage continues to be a problem in Kandiyohi County
Aaron Backman, executive director of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar EDC, received a housing report Jan. 11 and shared some of his thoughts about it at a meeting that day. A December 2023 housing report showed the city of Willmar had only 23 single-family homes for sale — in a city of 21,000 people. Lack of housing can hinder the recruitment of the workforce needed to fill job openings, according to Aaron Backman, executive director of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic

Two new turkey businesses to open in newly created hatchery in Willmar, Minnesota

January 8, 2024

Two new turkey businesses to open in newly created hatchery in Willmar, Minnesota
Headstart Hatching and Next Nest Hatching will begin operations in a state-of-the-art hatchery facility. New hatching technology will help to increase production rates and help with animal welfare. WILLMAR — After a year of construction, Headstart Hatching and Next Nest Hatching , two companies created through Life-Science Innovations , will open a new hatchery called Nest One this winter. The building, located just outside of Willmar, is state-of-the-art with current technology and techniques

Expansion of Elevate entrepreneurship course in Kandiyohi County supported by $200,000 grant

January 3, 2024

Expansion of Elevate entrepreneurship course in Kandiyohi County supported by $200,000 grant
The Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission received a grant for more than $200,000 from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. —————————————————————- WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission received a grant of more than $200,000 to put toward expansion of the Elevate Community

41 Grantees Announced to Support Small Business Success across Minnesota

January 3, 2024

St. Paul – Today, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced that 41 organizations across Minnesota will receive Small Business Assistance Partnership funding to help small businesses grow and thrive. DEED will award more than $12.5 million to nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions, community development financial institutions and community development corporations. These projects are projected to serve almost 36,000 Minnesota small businesses

A Message from the Executive Director

January 3, 2024

Written by Executive Director, Aaron Backman 2023 was a memorable year in many ways.  A new housing study covering all of Kandiyohi County was completed by Viewpoint Consulting in January.  It identified a need for 2,555 additional housing units, including 1,580 units in Willmar, to be constructed between now and the year 2030. Several housing projects that the EDC was significantly involved with were completed or commenced with this year.  Edgeview, the Unique Opportunities multi-family project

A Sisterhood of Support

January 2, 2024

A Sisterhood of Support
Walking into the backyard of child care provider Michelle Weiler is like walking into a children’s fairy tale. It is the magic of Alice in Wonderland, the secret hidden place of the Secret Garden and full of children having as much fun as if they were in Peter Pan’s Never Never Land. But this isn’t a story of how they care for the children they watch; it is the story of how they care for each other. Sue Yoakum and Michelle Weiler have been running their child care businesses and helping

New Year, New Look

January 2, 2024

In November, the Joint Powers Board voted unanimously to adopt a new public facing name for what has been known as the EDC, while the legal name remains the same. The Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission (EDC) was founded in 2003 as a joint powers authority between the City of Willmar and Kandiyohi County through special legislation. “The past name served the purpose of introducing who and what this new organization was,” said Kelsey Olson, Marketing and Communications

Coalition of Greater MN Cities holds fall conference in Willmar

November 28, 2023

Coalition of Greater MN Cities holds fall conference in Willmar
WILLMAR—City officials and business leaders from Greater Minnesota communities gathered November 16-17 at Willmar Conference Center for its annual fall conference. The conference kicked off with welcome remarks from St. Joseph Mayor and CGMC President Rick Schultz, Willmar Mayor Doug Reese, and CGMC Executive Director Bradley Peterson, followed by a lunch presentation from Department of Revenue Commissioner Paul Marquart. Commissioner Marquart led an engaging discussion on the recent LGA increase

Willmar Municipal Utilities investing in generation and transmission

November 28, 2023

Willmar Municipal Utilities investing in generation and transmission
WILLMAR—The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission on Nov. 13 approved continuing a $760,000 agreement with DGR Engineering to create additional generation capacity in Willmar with the installation of four more diesel generators and also took action to invest in additional transmission projects. The separate actions were each recommended by the Municipal Utilities’ planning committee. Generation According to the minutes from the Oct. 30 planning committee meeting, the Municipal Utilities

Willmar Burger King now owned by man who grew up in community

November 28, 2023

Willmar Burger King now owned by man who grew up in community
WILLMAR—A man who grew up in Willmar has acquired three Burger King restaurants, including Willmar’s Burger King on First Street South. Mike Knoop, the owner and operator of Crown King Properties LLC, previously worked at a Willmar location in 1992 as an assistant manager, according to a news release announcing his acquisition of BK restaurants in Willmar and Hutchinson, as well as Hillsboro, North Dakota. Knoop has operated five restaurants in his time as a franchise owner beginning in
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