Benton County, MN, is the Perfect Place for Innovative Manufacturing Companies to Call Home

Benton County, MN, is the Perfect Place for Innovative Manufacturing Companies to Call Home Main Photo

4 Oct 2023


Today’s manufacturing isn’t the manufacturing of the past. It’s a new world that uses cutting-edge technology, more technical skill sets, and a new world of innovative workers, products, and services. 

Benton County, MN, is home to manufacturing companies producing goods using the latest technologies and raw materials. Kicking off on Manufacturing Day — Friday, October 6 —  and continuing throughout the month, we at Benton Economic Partnership celebrate these companies’ employment opportunities and innovations that grow our economy.

As part of Manufacturing Month, manufacturers across Minnesota are opening their doors to students, parents, and the general public. These tours will allow attendees to learn about manufacturing careers, discover products made by manufacturers, and experience the latest technologies, helping inspire and recruit the next generation of manufacturing talent.  

As part of the Minnesota Manufactured™ Statewide Tour, you can tour the St. Cloud Technical and Community College’s Manufacturing labs, which operate Welding, Machining, Mechanical Design, Energy & Electronics, Robotics, and Mechatronics programs. You’ll also be able to tour the new Advanced Manufacturing Center.  

Modern Manufacturing

Manufacturing Day helps show the reality of modern manufacturing careers by encouraging thousands of companies and educational institutions nationwide to open their doors to students, parents, teachers, and community leaders. Manufacturing careers are full of opportunities for exciting endeavors, personal advancement and stability.

“There’s no such thing as a low-skilled job in manufacturing anymore,” NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray said in a 2023 Industry Outlook article for Manufacturing Dive.

Today’s typical manufacturing roles incorporate the latest technology like artificial intelligence, cloud computing and robotics into existing processes, quality control and problem-solving techniques. Additionally, sustainability is quickly becoming a focused aspect of manufacturing as companies seek to find ways to produce customary items in manners that coexist positively with their natural environment. 

Benton County has Numerous Benefits for Manufacturing Companies.

Benton County offers several advantages to national and global manufacturing companies. Located just one hour northwest of the Twin Cities, businesses have convenient access to Interstate 94, which connects the Great Lakes region with the northern Great Plains. This provides a direct route to receive raw materials and ship products throughout the region quickly and efficiently.

Sites and buildings are available for manufacturing companies looking to expand. Here, businesses have the room they need to grow, and local economic developers are available to make it easy to find the perfect location. In some instances, financial incentives make the move an even better investment. 

Benton County’s workforce is more than 20,000 people, with the large majority falling in the 18-54 age range. Manufacturing is the top industry in Benton County, employing nearly 3,000 people in 63 businesses in Benton County. 

Manufacturing jobs are central Minnesota’s second largest industry, with 24,325 jobs at 681 firms. A large majority of the workforce in Benton County holds at least some college or associate's degree training with skills applicable to the manufacturing industry. Many manufacturing companies use St. Cloud Technical and Community College’s programs, which offer various certifications and programs, like welding, forklift training, medical device manufacturing and validation, and more, to keep local workers updated on the latest manufacturing skills. The area offers many higher education institutions with programming and degrees that can benefit your business.  

Leaders in Benton County

Many manufacturers have realized success due to the favorable economic environment in Benton County. These manufacturers are leaders in combining the latest technology and good workplace practices to produce high-quality products and consistently innovate to progress their industries. Benton Economic Partnership is proud that these companies have made their home here.

Minnesota is a State for Manufacturing Growth 

Manufacturing’s importance in Benton County and throughout Minnesota comes from its stability and growth, ultimately creating jobs and economic opportunities for local communities. According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM):

  • Manufacturers account for 13.63% of Minnesota’s total output, employing 11.08% of the workforce. 
  • Total output from manufacturing was $53.13B in 2021.
  • There were an average of 320,000 manufacturing jobs in the state of Minnesota in December of 2021, with an average annual salary of $88,784. 

Showcase your Manufacturing Operation

Manufacturing Day is an opportunity to help your community become more familiar with the possibilities present at your company. Hosting an event helps highlight the reality of modern manufacturing careers to your future workforce and those who can assist your development - students, parents, teachers, and community leaders. Utilize the Manufacturing Institute’s toolkit to help plan tours, send invitations and develop promotions.

Benton Economic Partnership understands the vital importance manufacturing has in Benton County. Contact us today to learn more about manufacturing opportunities!