economic development

Emporia Suits and Alterations off to great start during prom season

May 28, 2022

Emporia Suits and Alterations off to great start during prom season
Willmar’s new suit store offers options for men to be occasion-ready, no matter the event they will be attending. WILLMAR — A new store in Willmar opened just in time to help local young men find the perfect suit or tuxedo to wear for one of the highlights of their high school years — prom. Read the full story at the West Central Tribune 

Kandiyohi County, Charter Communications partner on $800,000 broadband project to serve 170 homes, businesses

May 16, 2022

Kandiyohi County, Charter Communications partner on $800,000 broadband project to serve 170 homes, businesses
A cooperative project between Kandiyohi County and Charter Communications will bring broadband to more than 170 rural, unserved homes and small businesses in the county. Charter is investing more than $563,000, and the county has committed nearly $240,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding. Read the full story from the West Central Tribune 

Housing is a hot topic for Willmar, and the job of a new mayor’s task force

May 13, 2022

Housing is a hot topic for Willmar, and the job of a new mayor’s task force
A housing task force was created at the May 2 Willmar City Council meeting. A group of 15 to 16 people is expected to work for three months, or even less, and report back to the city and other partners trying to promote the availability of more housing. Although more apartment complexes are under construction, single-family housing has been identified as a particular need. Read the full story at the West Central Tribune 

Unemployment Insurance and Frontline Worker Bill Passed by Minnesota Legislature Signed into Law by Governor Tim Walz

April 27, 2022

Unemployment Insurance and Frontline Worker Bill Passed by Minnesota Legislature Signed into Law by Governor Tim Walz
St. Paul – On Friday, Governor Walz signed the Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Frontline Worker bill into law. Replenishing the UI Trust Fund at $2.73 billion will ensure UI benefits are available to workers in the future and that businesses across the state are held harmless from the effects of the pandemic. About 130,000 businesses will receive UI tax relief with the passing of this bill – with the total amount of relief provided to businesses coming totaling around $200 million for the first

Workforce summit held in Willmar to help businesses recruit and retain

January 21, 2022

Workforce summit held in Willmar to help businesses recruit and retain
WILLMAR—The world and its workforce have changed dramatically over the past several years and employers need to change right along with them. That was the overall message at the Workforce Solutions Summit held Thursday in Willmar. Sponsored and produced by a partnership of several regional economic development and community organizations, the summit brought dozens from the surrounding business area to the Willmar Community (sic) Center. There were presentations on labor market trends, diversifying

FedEx behind massive logistics facility being constructed in Willmar Industrial Park

January 13, 2022

FedEx behind massive logistics facility being constructed in Willmar Industrial Park
WILLMAR—The end user for the massive logistics facility being constructed in the Willmar Industrial Park has finally been identified publicly. “It’s official; it is FedEx,” said Aaron Backman, executive director of the Kandiyohi County and city of Willmar Economic Development Commission. The project is estimated to be worth more than $30 million, and includes the construction of a 217,000-square-foot distribution center, located between Willmar and Trott Avenues Southwest along

MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar requesting tax abatement for three additional buildings to be renovated

December 14, 2021

MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar requesting tax abatement for three additional buildings to be renovated
WILLMAR—Fifteen years after it was first established, the MinnWest Technology Campus continues to be transformed into one of Kandiyohi County’s economic development stars. Currently, it is home to 27 different companies offering employment to 693 people, with an average salary of $55,000 a year. “It is a real gem for this community,” said James Sieben, president of both the campus and Nova-Tech Engineering, one of the largest employers on the campus located in Willmar. However,

Jennie-O Turkey Store’s Benson Avenue plant in Willmar to close

December 9, 2021

Jennie-O Turkey Store’s Benson Avenue plant in Willmar to close
WILLMAR—The Jennie-O Turkey Store plant located on Benson Avenue just west of downtown Willmar will be closing in the first half of fiscal year 2022, according to a news release from Hormel Foods, which owns Jennie-O. The news comes as Hormel reports double-digit sales growth in every segment of the business in the fourth quarter. The release said that team members at the plant on Benson Avenue will transition to the Willmar Avenue plant, which is both newer and larger than the Benson Avenue location.

Arvig moving forward with broadband project in Prinsburg, Minnesota, funded partially by coronavirus relief funds

December 6, 2021

Arvig moving forward with broadband project in Prinsburg, Minnesota, funded partially by coronavirus relief funds
PRINSBURG—Approximately 500 residents of Prinsburg will soon have the option of purchasing high-speed broadband services. Following the construction of an 8.1-mile fiber network, the city will have access to speeds reaching one gigabit for residents and 10 gigabits for businesses. “Arvig is committed to bringing the highest quality broadband services to rural communities like Prinsburg,” said Mark Birkholz, director of customer operations and southern markets at Arvig, in a news release

City of Prinsburg takes next step for broadband project

November 8, 2021

City of Prinsburg takes next step for broadband project
PRINSBURG, MN, November 8, 2021: On Tuesday, November 2nd, the Prinsburg City Council held a community broadband meeting at the Prinsburg Community Center to complete the next step towards a fiber-to-the home broadband project in partnership with Arvig. Over 40 people were in attendance, including community members and business owners, City representatives, Arvig Enterprises, Inc., and Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission Broadband Committee members. Access to high-speed
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