Manufacturing is a Critical Base in Wadena County

Manufacturing is a Critical Base in Wadena County Main Photo

25 Oct 2022


Despite its rural location in central Minnesota, Wadena County has various manufacturing companies in segments like agribusiness, recreational equipment, forest products and outdoor furniture. These businesses and their hard-working employees are the backbone of everyday life in Wadena County. The Economic Alliance is proud to celebrate the manufacturing companies’ employment opportunities, innovations and dedication to the community. 

Manufacturing in Wadena County

Many diverse manufacturing companies make their home in Wadena County. Leaf River Ag Services in Wadena is a fill service cooperative that offers a variety of products, including manufactured livestock feeds. Kern Laser Systems manufactures industrial laser cutting and engraving machines, while Kern Technologies produces carbon dioxide lasers. The Willis Rubber Company produces molded friction-corded materials and offers material bonding services. These manufacturers are leaders in technology and good workplace practices, create high-quality products and consistently innovate to keep in step with and progress their industries. 

The career and technical programs at Central Lakes College in Staples are a resource to provide a consistent potential labor force through excellent educational options and customized training.

Manufacturing Sector Growth in Minnesota

Manufacturing’s importance throughout Minnesota is due to the sector’s stability and growth. In fact, manufacturing contributes 13.55% of the state’s total output, according to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). The export of manufacturing goods from Minnesota in 2020 was also nearly $19 billion, creating jobs and economic opportunities for the state.

The Minnesota manufacturing industry employed about 310,000 people in 2020, and as reported by NAM, the average annual compensation for Minnesota’s manufacturing jobs was nearly $81,000 in 2019. 

Incentives to Locate in Wadena County

Wadena County offers numerous advantages to national and global manufacturing companies, beginning with a collaborative relationship between area organizations. For example, the Economic Alliance co-hosted the Staples Area Manufacturers Breakfast on October 13th alongside the Staples EDA, Todd County Development Corp. and Staples Area Chamber of Commerce to recognize and thank area manufacturers.

Wadena County has many incentives to help local businesses achieve success. The Wadena County Tax Abatement Program offers financial assistance for companies that create jobs, stable employment, focus on wages and benefits and overall business attraction, retention and expansion. The Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative offers a Revolving Economic Development Loan and Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program to help local businesses achieve their goals. Minnesota Power offers several business incentives, such as the Business Expansion Incentive program to provide significant electrical demand discounts and Conservation Rebate and Incentives. Minnesota PACE Financing is available to commercial property owners who invest in energy-efficient upgrades and renewable energy.  

Contact The Economic Alliance today for assistance with accessing the resources needed for economic success in Wadena County.