Industry and commerce have thrived in North Iowa since the days of the first settlers. The local cement industry began in the early 1900s, and that aspect of the regional economy continues to play an important role. Other founding industries such as brick and tile have come and gone, but each left a mark. Today, Fortune 500 companies work hand-in-hand with local, family-owned businesses to provide a wealth of services and diverse employment opportunities.
The area’s largest employer is Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa. The medical center and its industry partners provide jobs that add nearly $210 million to the local economy. Hospital employees alone spend $73 million on retail sales and contribute $4.4 million in state sales tax revenue.
Other leading employers include the public schools, Smithfield, Cargill, Curries Company, Mason City Clinic, The Principal Financial Group Pension Center, Woodharbor Cabinetry, Kraft Heinz, and McKesson Corporation. Existing industries continue to expand, and many new companies have been attracted to the area through development efforts. Continuous expansion and investment by several of the region’s most influential employers help the region to thrive and are a tribute to its quality workforce. North Iowa is on the leading edge of renewable fuel creation, hosting ethanol plants, a bio-diesel plant, and several wind farms.
Through the development and planning stages, businesses can count on the Chamber and its partners to assist with site location, job training assistance, access to capital, incentive packages, and assistance with regulatory requirements.
The region boasts several industrial parks, spec buildings, and a varied inventory of commercial real estate, including sites ranging from five to 300 acres. A well-educated and highly skilled workforce combines with a low cost of doing business to place this area at the top of any site selector’s list.