News & Events

Company’s Innovations Improve Life for Those with Disabilities

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

“Necessity is the mother of invention,” is a saying that is applicable to entrepreneurism. Successful business ventures are often based on identifying a problem that needs to be solved. When a spinal cord injury left Alan Tholkes a quadriplegic at 17, his creative ways of navigating mobility challenges turned him into an entrepreneur. He founded Altimate Medical in 1987 and the products he developed improve the lives of people who use wheelchairs. Tholkes’ initial invention was a folding, lightweight wheelchair that could easily squeeze through narrow doorways. This product provided a foundation the company was built upon. Now the company based in Morton,...
The 5 biggest economic stories in Minnesota from 2018

Monday, February 11, 2019

It was a year with highs and lows for Minnesota’s economy, marked by turnover in the state’s technical college system, trade war uncertainty, rosy economic numbers and an escalating shortage of workers. Here, a look at the year in Minnesota’s economic development: Read full article. 
Magazine Highlights Minnesota as a Top Spot for Business

Friday, February 08, 2019

The new edition of Minnesota: Thriving in the North spells out the benefits of doing business here. It highlights the state’s inviting business climate, innovative atmosphere and world-class workforce. The publication, available in both print and digital versions, is part of DEED’s ongoing work to promote the state’s advantages for business investment and expansion, as well as its culture of innovation and quality of life. Read full article. 
New Privacy and Data Security Guide Published for 2019

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Annual guide developed in cooperation with Gray Plant Mooty ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has partnered with Minneapolis law firm Gray Plant Mooty to publish “A Legal Guide to Privacy and Data Security 2019.” This privacy guide is intended to inform businesses of legal issues related to privacy and data security. Written for non-lawyers, this is the fourth time Gray Plant Mooty and DEED have collaborated to publish and distribute the privacy guide. Read full article. 
Dave Hesse of Comfrey is part of MDA farm advocate program

Thursday, December 27, 2018

In the 1980s, Dave Hesse of Comfrey came through his own financial challenges. At that time this rural Minnesota farmer began to speak out on behalf of himself and others in the ag industry through what was known as the Groundswell movement. As that movement was continuing, another concept was beginning to take shape. How could farmers who were facing financial challenges find someone to help them? Out of that came what is known today as the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s farm advocate program. Hesse said he was asked to take on the role of an advocate with the idea of serving in that...
How Minnesota Became the Land of 10,000 Startups

Friday, December 21, 2018

Minnesota is no stranger to big business. It’s home to such names as Target, Best Buy, General Mills, and Ecolab — all of which have made their homes in Minnesota for generations and have become a source of pride. But a new industry — technology — is taking Minnesota by storm, boosting the local economy and putting the state on the global map once again. Minnesota has long been known for its high standard of living, agriculture industry, and flourishing community of performing arts. But over the past decade the Twin Cities area has made great strides to become a forward-thinking...
The University of Minnesota’s craziest, most interesting innovations

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The University of Minnesota is a research giant. Sure, most colleges and universities have an active team of researchers, but few institutions churn out inventions at the same rate as the U. Last year, the U was named by the National Science Foundation as one of the nation’s top 10 research institutions. A report released by the university in late 2017 estimates that it has had an $8.6 billion impact on Minnesota, and that its inventions generated more than $320 million for the state between 2009 and 2015. Simply put, the University of Minnesota is, and always has been, at the heart of the state’s...
IREC: Where Are The Best And Worst Shared Renewables Programs?

Monday, December 17, 2018

A national scorecard released by the nonprofit Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) grades states’ shared renewable energy programs – e.g., community solar and net metering – with Minnesota and New York coming out on top. IREC says its National Shared Renewables Scorecard uses specific criteria to evaluate how each program stacks up against national best practices and to one another. This includes bill credit valuation, project siting requirements, interconnection procedures, low- to moderate-income customer participation, subscription portability and transferability, third-party ownership and management, and data tracking and reporting. Continue to full article
New Guide to Hiring Disabled Veterans Available

Friday, December 14, 2018

With record low unemployment, more and more employers are feeling the laborforce crunch, but one group of job seekers may be overlooked – disabled veterans. To raise employer awareness of this labor source and lower perceived barriers to hiring disabled veterans, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) has released their 2018 hiring guide. “The Veteran Advantage: DAV Guide to Hiring & Retaining Veterans with Disabilities” contains up-to-date statistics and incentives to help employers take advantage of this underused labor pool. Continue to full article
An Enterprise of Entrepreneurs

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Entrepreneurs, makers and artists networked with DEED representatives from the Offices of Small Business Assistance, Business Finance, Business Development, Small Business Development Centers, Minnesota Trade Office and Unemployment Insurance to learn about technical support and financing programs DEED offers that help get startups up and running.  DEED’s Startup open house, held Oct. 9 at the First National Bank Building in St. Paul, competed with some major Startup Week events taking place that morning, such as Manova Global Summit and specialized tracks in FinTech and Food Ag Ideas. Startup Week program attendees had twice as many events to choose from this year, compared to...
DEED Launches Tool to Measure, Report Broadband Access

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Check Speed Minnesota will give insight into consumer experience, inform policymakers ST PAUL - The Minnesota Office of Broadband Development, located within the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), today launched a new tool that will allow Minnesotans to test, map and report various broadband internet speeds across the state. CheckSpeedMinnesota.com is a benchmarking tool designed to gather information about the high-speed internet consumer experience in Minnesota. By answering a few questions and running a speed test, the input captured will help create a better overall picture of broadband in the state. Continue to full article
New Leave a Legacy Southwest Minnesota initiative is focused on philanthropy

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Throughout southwest Minnesota there are myriad non-profit organizations that are focused on making their communities better and sustaining them into the future. There are also people in the region who are looking for ways to donate to programs that are making a difference. The challenge is that there really has not been a great way to connect those who want to give with those who can best utilize those gifts. Now a new program is being established in the area that can help network people and non-profits together. It is known as Leave a Legacy® Southwest Minnesota. The program is focused on “encouraging philanthropy...
Food Manufacturing in Southwestern Minnesota

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Food manufacturing is big business in southwestern Minnesota. In fact, with more than 11,000 jobs at 109 establishments, the industry employs workers in that region at four times the concentration statewide, according to a story by Cameron Macht in the latest issue of Trends magazine. The cluster of food production jobs in southwestern Minnesota isn’t surprising, given the area also has a significant number of farms and other agriculture-related enterprises.  The food manufacturing sector includes businesses specializing in animal slaughtering and processing, grain and oilseed milling, dairy product manufacturing, fruit and vegetable preserving, and specialty food manufacturing. Despite perceptions that food manufacturing provides...
Great Minnesota Get-Together wins Fair of the Year Award

Monday, December 03, 2018

It really is great. The Great Minnesota Get-Together was named the Fair of the Year Tuesday evening by the International Entertainment Buyers Association, a trade group of people who work behind the scenes of the concert business. The Minnesota State Fair beat out fairs in Wisconsin, California, Delaware and Vancouver, BC, among other finalists for the honor from the Nashville-based group. This year the state fair set a new attendance record, with more than 2 million visitors during the 12-day run. Among this year’s Grandstand concerts: Culture Club, Sugarland, Earth Wind & Fire, the Beach Boys and Niall Horan. The honor was announced at...
Minnesota Manufacturers try to manufacture interest in careers

Friday, November 30, 2018

Scores of Minnesota manufacturers are hosting students this week during Minnesota Manufacturing Week to stimulate interest in critical industries that also pay above average. They included two growing North Minneapolis makers located within a couple blocks of each other: Unison Comfort Technologies, a builder of heating-and-cooling systems that can be as big as a small house for commercial installations; and H&B Elevators, a maker of passenger elevators, from U.S. Bank Stadium to a skyscraper in Dubai. Human Resource Manager Tara Thurs of Unison,  said the company employs 345 people, and is looking for 30 more at beginning wages that range from $15.44 an...
Minnesota's ACT scores remain steady, among best in the U.S.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Minnesota's average declined slightly but not enough to alter its best-of-the-nation standing.  Minnesota students’ scores on the ACT college entrance exam dipped slightly this year but were still higher than those of any other state where nearly all students take the test. Graduating seniors in the class of 2018 earned an average composite score of 21.3 out of a possible 36, according to test results released Wednesday. That’s down from last year’s state average of 21.5, but still above the national average of 20.8 for the test that measures students’ college readiness in math, reading, science and English. It was also enough to...
Most & Least Energy-Efficient States

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Energy is expensive. In fact, it’s one of the biggest household expenses for American consumers. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average U.S. family spends at least $2,000 per year on utilities, with heating and cooling of spaces alone accounting for more than half the bill. In 2018, the average consumer spent another $1,968 on motor fuel and oil, up $59 from last year. The Department of Energy estimates that adopting energy-efficient measures in the home could reduce a family’s utility costs by as much as 25 percent. It pays to conserve, especially during a time of increasingly warmer temperatures. As for transportation, the agency...
Sun Country Airlines partners with Minnesota State in Mankato for new pilots

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Sun Country Airlines on Thursday unveiled a partnership with Minnesota State University, Mankato, to offer commercial aviation students full-time employment prior to graduation through a new initiative, the Sun Country Bridge Program. Students in the aviation program at Minnesota State can apply for the program their freshman year, said Jessica Wheeler, spokesperson for Sun Country. Applicants will be chosen on "technical requirements, professionalism, and commitment to their profession," she said Upon completion of the program and the required flight hours, members of the program enter Sun Country's three-month pilot training program for full-time employment. Tom Peterson, an assistant professor of aviation at Minnesota State,...
MINNESOTA'S TOP TOURIST ATTRACTIONS RANKED BY ATTENDANCE

Monday, November 26, 2018

Explore Minnesota, the state's tourism promotion office, announced 2017 attendance figures today for major attractions and events statewide. From the nation's largest mall to stadiums, museums, zoos, parks, big events and more, the top 40 most-visited tourist attractions in the state can be viewed in this Click here for the complete article.
The Experience of American Indian Students in the Minnesota Labor Market

Monday, November 26, 2018

American Indians have the lowest educational attainment rates of any population group in the United States, and Minnesota is no exception. Moreover, American Indians with a college degree have lower post-college earnings relative to other groups. This study compares American Indian post-secondary students to their white peers with the aim of identifying (1) what educational and socio-economic characteristics set them apart from the majority race group, (2) how these background characteristics contribute to the observed employment and wage disparities relative to whites, (3) how geographic location, especially living and working in rural counties, negatively affects earnings, and (4) potential implications of...
Finnovation

Friday, November 23, 2018

The financial technology sector, better known as FinTech, is reshaping the banking and financial services industry, offering products that are more user-friendly, efficient, transparent and automated than in the past. Lending, payments, personal finance and mortgages are among the services that are evolving in this new world of finance. PayPal is a good example of an early entry in the FinTech space, with an online application that supports money transfers and provides an electronic alternative to checks and money orders. GoFundMe and other crowdfunding sites are FinTechs as well. In Minnesota, Sezzle Inc. is probably the state’s best-known FinTech. The Minneapolis-based company,...
A Pause in the Hot Streak

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 2.9 percent in August, a number not seen since December 1999. The state’s record-low unemployment rate was a seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent in both January and February 1999. (The US unemployment rate in August was 3.9 percent.)  Minnesota employers eliminated 200 jobs after three consecutive months of growth. Over the past year, the state has added 50,904 jobs, a 1.7 percent growth rate. US jobs are up 1.8 percent in the past year. Details: Monthly employment changes across the major sectors of Minnesota’s economy were fairly small, with job losers outnumbering gainers seven to three and logging and...
State Unemployment Rate Falls to 2.8 Percent

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Unemployment rate at lowest point since May 1999 ST PAUL – Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 2.8 percent in September, according to data released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). That is the lowest state unemployment rate since May 1999 and only three tenths of a point above the all-time low of 2.5 percent in both January and February 1999. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in September 2018. Minnesota’s labor market lost 1,400 jobs last month. Additionally, August’s job loss was revised downward from 200 jobs lost to 2,500 jobs lost. Over the past year,...
Support Small Businesses on Nov. 24 and Beyond

Monday, November 19, 2018

November 24 is Small Business Saturday, a shopping holiday that urges consumers to patronize small and independent businesses rather than online retailers or big box stores. American Express was behind the first Small Business Saturday, which started in 2010. The initial goal was to counter the negative effects of the recession on small businesses and local economies. The holiday quickly caught on. In 2011, the Senate passed a resolution in support of Small Business Saturday. Consumers have now spent an estimated $85 billion at independent retailers and restaurants over the eight Small Business Saturdays since its inception. Small Businesses Make a Significant Economic...
Redwood Area Concert Association announces the 2018-19 performers

Friday, September 28, 2018

The Redwood Area Concert Association is pleased to announce its concert series schedule for the 2018-19 season and the start of membership sales as of Aug. 22. The concert season will begin Oct. 1, 2018, with the high energy Jersey Tenors. The Jersey Tenors, who were recently touted as the most versatile tribute act in the nation, are a quartet of classically trained Broadway performers who have created an explosive blend of rock and opera with “Jersey Proud” roots. From Frank Sinatra to Figaro to Frankie Valli, audience members will love it all. The series continues Oct. 15, 2018, with William Florian’s...
Carris Health to serve in interim management role for Redwood Area Hospital through 2018

Monday, September 24, 2018

During its July 17 meeting, the Redwood Falls City Council approved the transfer agreement of the Redwood Area Hospital to Carris Health effective as of Jan. 1, 2019. While there are still some months left before the transfer officially takes place, the City of Redwood Falls and Carris Health have entered into an agreement that both believe will help to create a smooth transition of ownership. According to Keith Muetzel, city administrator, discussions have been taking place between city and hospital leadership and Carris Health to determine what will be happening over the next few months, and from those discussions a plan...
Small Businesses are a Big Deal

Thursday, September 13, 2018

As described in last month’s blog post, Southwest Minnesota was home to nearly 27,200 nonemployer establishments in 2016. In addition to being a source of employment and personal income, these businesses are a vital part of the larger regional economy, creating opportunities for growth. In many cases, self-employed businesses have expanded and become employer establishments. Click here for the complete article.
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Hoppkes are new owners of Dari King in Redwood Falls

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Dari King has been an establishment in Redwood Falls for generations. Previous to the Dari King name it was the Dairy Freeze until being purchased and rebranded by the Brakken family. After nearly 55 years, Marge and Dan Brakken were ready to sell. New owners Chris and Melissa Hoppke opened the Dari King as official owners May 1, 2018. Melissa speculated that the Brakkens, who approached them about purchasing it, wanted to find someone that they knew would keep it much the same as it had been. Click here for the complete article.
Fun With Statistics

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Recently released data from the Census Bureau shows that the population in Minnesota has increased by 51,556 people in the last year and has experienced a growth rate of 5.1 percent since 2010 with the addition of 272,682 residents. Population growth is an important driver of economic sustainability, especially in a tight labor market where employers are struggling to fill vacant job openings, and Minnesota’s expanding population is a positive sign. However, not all areas of the state are benefiting from the influx of new residents. For example, Northeast and Southwest Minnesota have experienced population declines since 2010, while much of the...
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Match.com for business Redwood County supports a diverse community of manufacturers!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Enterprise Minnesota - December 2014 Issue -- Tom Mason, writer When Enterprise Minnesota’s president and CEO Bob Kill traveled recently to Redwood Falls he got to experience first hand how a diverse community of manufacturers can give their community a solid economic base.  Kill was invited by the Redwood Area Development Corporation (RADC) to keynote their annual Manufacturing Week luncheon. Redwood Falls is a prosperous community of about 5,000 people located a couple hours southwest of the Twin Cities. RADC is considered a well-run and forward-thinking organization thatserves 16 area communities. The day’s chief organizer was Julie Rath, one of two development...
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"Just wanted to say thank you for a great tour of Redwood Falls....it is so wonderful to see a community with such beauty and awareness of its potential by the way Redwood Falls promotes itself and the surrounding area. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the growth and remarkable natural setting that the area provides....what a pleasant and unexpected surprise!!! Thank you again for taking the time to show us your beautiful city and all it has to offer....anyone would be pleased to visit and locate there!"

Jackie Buysse

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