Forty-two business expansion projects are either in progress, completed, or were announced during the first quarter of 2013, bringing with them more than 1,300 Minnesota jobs.
That’s according to the Business Expansion Report, which is released quarterly by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Thirty-six of the expansions come from companies already doing business in Minnesota, while six projects are employers new or returning to the state, the report stated.
“Business expansion activity is a good indicator of our state’s overall economic landscape,” DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said in a Monday statement. “This mix of investments by existing Minnesota companies and businesses new to the state will lead to jobs, growth, and new opportunities across Minnesota.”
The largest concentration of expansions consisted of 14 different businesses in the west metro, followed by five in Duluth.
According to the report, 40 percent of the projects are in manufacturing, 10 percent are in health care, 10 percent are in the transportation industry, and the remaining 40 percent are spread across other sectors.
One of the largest expansions came from Pinnacle Airlines, a Delta Air Lines subsidiary, which is moving its corporate headquarters from Memphis to the Twin Cities. The company received a $550,000 forgivable loan from the state, which requires it to move at least 200 jobs to the new Twin Cities office within two years. However, according to the airline, it plans to go beyond this requirement and bring more than 350 new jobs, which it will fill locally.
Also in the transit industry, Access America Transport moved its Minnesota office from Ramsey to a larger space in Brooklyn Park and plans to hire 75 employees during 2013, and up to an additional 425 within five years, according to DEED.
Additionally, the U.S. Postal Service plans to hire 400 new assistant carriers throughout the metro region. The new part-time hires will help save money by reducing overtime hours for current employees.
Wal-Mart is also moving forward with its long-anticipated distribution center in Mankato. The 420,000-square-foot facility will distribute perishable goods to regional Wal-Mart stores, creating 300 new jobs. The center is set to open in 2015. Future plans include an additional 400,000-square-foot dry-box building expansion.
According to the report, the Minneapolis Downtown Council also announced that the city’s 15 largest employers collectively added a net 750 jobs in downtown in 2012. U.S. Bancorp, Thrivent Financial, and the Hennepin County Medical Center accounted for some of the largest gains.
This article is reprinted in partnership with Twin Cities Business.