Business Development Update

The summer of 2015 was active in terms of business expansions in the St. Cloud region. During the summer and early fall we noted seven major expansions. Since then, Dubow Textile has started their project and will add 20 jobs, and Arctic Cat is expected to add 10 jobs once they purchase new equipment. The possibility of a large distribution center by a yet unnamed business, continues to be an exciting prospect for the region. It has the potential to create 250 jobs.

The GSDC Business Development Corps, led by Chair Dave Gruenes, has begun to visit small manufacturers in the region’s industrial parks. The intent of this 2015 goal is to thank small manufacturers for doing business in the area and inform them about GSDC and our services, such as business expansion assistance and Greater St. Cloud JobSpot. The first visits were in the St. Joseph Industrial Park and we feel it went well. Our goal is to conduct 50 visits in 2015.

Grede General Manager John Haas and St. Cloud State Provost Ashish Vaidya sign the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership agreement at a signing ceremony in the St. Cloud State Welcome Center. [Source: University News, posted June 13, 2015 by Anna Kurth]

Grede General Manager John Haas and St. Cloud State Provost Ashish Vaidya sign the
Minnesota Job Skills Partnership agreement at a signing ceremony in the St. Cloud State
Welcome Center. [Source: University News, posted June 13, 2015 by Anna Kurth]

St. Cloud State University (SCSU), in collaboration with Grede Foundry, received a MN Job Skills Partnership (MJSP) grant from DEED in June. The grant award of $335,000 will be used to develop training programs for Grede’s current workforce and an estimated 100 new jobs resulting from their expansion. It was one of the largest training awards in DEED’s history. GSDC was instrumental in establishing the partnership between Grede and the SCSU Center for Continuing Studies.

Site Selector Familiarization Tour
The Site Selector Fam Tour took place on September 13 – 16, 2015. Wright County Economic Development Partnership and Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation joined us as regional partners in hosting Chris Schastok, of CBRE, a major real estate company and site selector. Chris is a Vice President and leader of their Location Strategy and Incentives practice. This tour was a chance for the St. Cloud region to highlight businesses in our community, our partner cities and to emphasize why our region is a great place to locate and to grow business. We also showcased our Workplace Well-Being Initiative which is a unique economic development focus.

Great River Energy Data Center-Ready Site Program
Great River Energy (GRE) has identified two primary and four secondary sites in the I94 Business Park as preferred data center sites under their Data Center-Ready Site Assessment Program. Minnesota is an attractive location for data center development because of its sales tax exemptions, reliable low-cost energy, and colder climate, which reduces cooling costs.

International Opportunities
King Mukherjee, Assistant Professor for Global Business Leadership at St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict has offered to assist companies interested in developing business connections in India, Vietnam, Thailand and China, where he has many contacts. Areas of opportunity include agriculture, renewable energy, finance and technology. For more information contact Bill Kemp atbkemp@greaterstcloud.com or (320) 252-5185.

St. Cloud Area Included in a Designated Medical Manufacturing Partnership
The greater St. Cloud region is part of a broader region receiving designation under the federal Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative.  The region encompasses the St. Cloud-Minneapolis/St. Paul-Rochester/Mankato corridor.  The IMCP is designed to revolutionize the way federal agencies leverage economic development funds. GSDC partnered with Greater MSP, the Rochester Area Economic Development Foundation, Greater Mankato Growth, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU), University of Minnesota, and others as the Minnesota Medical Manufacturing Partnership (MMMP). The MMMP will develop strategies to strengthen the medical technology sector within the geographical corridor. The designation provides funding potential of roughly $1 billion from 13 federal agencies. Those agencies will look to the designation as evidence of best practices and will use it to coordinate financial resources toward strengthening the medical manufacturing sector of the regional economy. The MMMP organizational structure will include GSDC representation on the leadership team and the GSDC president as an officer of the organization.

Business Development Snapshot
Expansion, Retention and Attraction Visits
Goal for 2015:  75 visits
Actual visits (thru Sept 30): 49 visits

Potential Business Expansion Opportunities Currently in the Pipeline: 62
Within 3-6 months: 25
Within 6-12 months:  13
Within 12-24 months: 24

Potential New Business Projects:  2 currently in the pipeline

Posted on October 29, 2015 and filed under Business Development.