Benton County is in Minnesota’s Economic Development Region 7W. Region 7W is projected to enjoy continued population growth in the next 20 years. According to population projections from the State Demographic Center, Region 7W is expected to gain about 79,400 net new residents from 2015 to 2035, an 18.2 percent increase. The state of Minnesota is projected to grow 10.8 percent.
With 28,215 jobs at 816 firms, healthcare and social assistance is the largest employing industry in Region 7W, accounting for 16.8 percent of total jobs in the region.
After regaining about 3,000 jobs since 2010, manufacturing is still the second largest industry in Region 7W, with 24,325 jobs at 681 firms. Wages in manufacturing were nearly $7,500 higher than in the total of all industries.
With one of the largest student populations outside the Twin Cities, Region 7W also has a high concentration of jobs in educational services, with 15,407 jobs at 195 institutions—primarily at elementary and secondary schools, but also at junior colleges, universities, and other schools and instruction.
The next largest industry was also the fastest growing in the region from 2010 to 2015: the construction industry built up payrolls by 43.4 percent.
Thank you very much for the generous grant money for my practice. COVID has really put a burden on us and we are seeing prices of PPE skyrocket! The money is very much appreciated, will be put to good use, and will help tremendously. Thank you again!
– Erika T.
This grant from BEP will enable us to continue to provide our [video, audio and live event production] services. On behalf of me and my wife Gini, at Kalton Communications, please accept our sincere gratitude for this funding. We are very thankful that due to receiving this grant from BEP, our company will be able to move forward in providing our services.
This morning I was pondering how I could pay the lease payment and insurance payments that are due and then your email arrived! This shutdown has affected us much more than last spring so this is much needed and appreciated. It has been slow since the weather turned cold and we no longer had the outside seating. Thank you again for all your help!
– May Kay Buhs
I want to thank you once again for your help in securing our grant from the Benton County Economic Partnership. As a small business, it means a lot to have that expression of encouragement and support from Benton County - especially right now! I appreciate you and Ross taking time to deliver the check personally, and particularly enjoyed meeting you, and our conversation very much.
– S.A. Mahon
This is a personal thank you to you - you have been a light in a very unsure time - you’re not just doing your job - you do it with great care, support and understanding. Thank you so much for all you do. It reminds me that there are wonderful people and you are one of them! You are amazing. Thank you so much!
- Tammy Molitor
Thank you so much for the grant check. I am very thankful to receive it. It will help so much with expenses in a year gone upside down. I look forward to meeting the board and other members. Thank you again.
- Cindy Batteson
I want to extend my greatest thanks for your help and patience getting us through the application process of this grant. We are very grateful and appreciative for the grant that Benton County gave us based on your approval. As everybody knows, it is a tough time for small businesses, and the money is greatly needed to maintain our current staff. Our staff have worked tirelessly to create delicious products and to deliver them to businesses around central Minnesota safely. We hope our work can make this rough patch caused by the COVID-19 pandemic just a little bit better with our homemade sweet treats. We made a huge investment in moving to Sauk Rapids a year ago, and to everyone’s surprise this pandemic has made everything difficult, so we are grateful and recognize that much of this good work would not be possible without your support.
- Jeff Muntifering
I can’t tell you how grateful Ron and I are to all of you. It’s hard to put this into words what it means to us to have the support and care of your actions. You went way beyond doing “your job” in order to show care and concern. We are so appreciative to live in a county with people as yourselves. You are making a difference in our lives. We will work hard at our business to take care of the families as well that support us. Thank you all!
- Tammy and Ron
Thank you so much for the grant funding for the CARE Program. We are so blessed you see the value of our program and how we fill a need throughout Benton County. Our goal continues to provide service to assist seniors live well at home with dignity and the respect they deserve. Thanks again!