City of St. Cloud Other

Three-Year Transformation of St. Cloud, MN Economic Development Strategy Poises City for Growth

St. Cloud, MN—May 1, 2014—Following a three-year strategic transformation effort designed to create a formalized economic development framework, the City of St. Cloud, Minnesota has steadily gained national and international recognition as a top U.S. destination for business climate and community quality of life. Today, the City can point to a host of advantages for companies to establish, relocate and succeed in St. Cloud. 

Minnesota’s fastest-growing metropolitan statistical area, St. Cloud is located just one hour from the Minneapolis-St. Paul urban area, and is an employment, commerce, educational, cultural and recreational center to nearly 200,000 people in the region. Recently, the City has attracted the attention of national organizations and business media — including, Forbes,, and the Milken Institute — as a top location nationally to live and do business based on a combination of factors including community quality, education, workforce quality, wage competitiveness, economic climate, accessibility, healthcare and more.

“In the past few years, St. Cloud’s reputation for business opportunity has grown significantly, due in no small part to regional, national and international companies choosing the City for their operations over competing locations across the state and the country,” said Mayor Dave Kleis. A diverse mix of industry sectors, from advanced manufacturing to financial services organizations, have chosen to make St. Cloud their home after examining the resources offered, economic advantages and community assets. Kleis added, “We offer one of the most highly skilled and educated workforces in the state, giving new or relocating businesses the resources they need to succeed.”

In his 2014 State of The City Address, Kleis noted that St. Cloud’s business environment is producing substantial growth. Long known as the “Granite City,” it was also announced that the City is rolling out a new brand identity campaign, “ST. CLOUD GREATER” which emphasizes that there is so much more to the City than granite. The brand will be the rallying theme to convey the diverse economic and lifestyle advantages of the area to prospective business interests. Highlights over the three-year effort include:

  • The selection of St. Cloud over other U.S. locations for expansion by international corporations, including Canadian bus manufacturer New Flyer and German farm implement manufacturer Geringhoff
  • The recent announcement of United partner direct air service expansion from St. Cloud airport to Chicago O’Hare, allowing business and leisure travelers to connect efficiently to anywhere in the world twice daily
  • An abundance of entrepreneurial success and leading communication infrastructure is spawning the hometown growth of numerous technology companies, such as Marco, Microbiologics and Netgain, earning the City the moniker “Minnesota’s Silicon Prairie” and a leap in the Milken Institute’s ranking for jobs, wage growth and number of high-tech industries
  • Two premier business parks, offering Interstate 94 access and Shovel-Ready Certified sites, plus more than a dozen resources to assist businesses in starting-up or expanding as well as attracting new businesses
  • A revitalized downtown business area that experienced a 25% increase of in employment to 6,000 today, and nearly 70% increase in new retail and dining establishments
  • University and College population of over 22,000 students providing one of the state’s most educated workforces with innovative facilities, such as the ISELF building and the U.S. Dept of Labor’s Advanced Manufacturing program
  • Diverse mixture of labor industries, ranging from healthcare to manufacturing, earning St. Cloud a Top 100 Best Places to Live and Launch a Business by Fortune Magazine

About St. Cloud

Located 65 miles northwest of the Twin Cities and accessible by train, air and interstate, St. Cloud is the economic, social and cultural heart of a five city metropolitan area. Supported by a strong business and industrial community, the city is also a center of higher education and healthcare, offering the business community one of the state’s most skilled, educated and healthy workforces. A vibrant regional center for over a quarter-million people, St. Cloud offers business resources, infrastructure and incentives, with nationally-recognized quality of living. For more information on business opportunities in St. Cloud, contact Dave Kleis, Mayor at 320-255-7201. To learn more about the new St. Cloud Greater brand, like it on Facebook or follow it on

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