Economic Development

Long Prairie is Minnesota’s Productivity Center! 

Long Prairie has built a diverse agriculture and manufacturing base around one of the most productive, loyal workforces in the state. Its record-setting productivity rates, low turn-over, and affordable wages help labor and tech-intensive businesses to lower their operating costs and gain a competitive edge.

Easy Access

This center of productivity is located in the heart of Minnesota’s prairie just 55 miles from St. Cloud on US Highway 71, the major north-south route in central and western Minnesota. This strategic location provides access in less than 20 minutes to Interstate 94 as well as access to US Highway 10. MN Highway 27 provides easy east-west connections to neighboring Alexandria and Little Falls.

The community is connected to other agricultural and industrial centers via four local trucking companies and an active municipal airport. Todd Field accommodates corporate jets via a lighted, 3,000-foot paved runway.

Diverse Economic Base

Long Prairie supports a diverse base of stable employers. In fact, 11 of ToddCounty’s 14 largest employers are located in Long Prairie. Core industry clusters include livestock and egg processing, printing and publishing, transportation equipment, technology, healthcare, and government.

Business Hub

Todd County’s percentage of manufacturing jobs is more than twice the state average. Most of those jobs are in Long Prairie – a community with only 12 percent of the county’s population.

To accommodate the growing demand for industrial space within the city limits, Long Prairie opened the 50-acre Southwest Industrial Park in 2007. The park features an unusually low Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating of 4, lowering the cost of property insurance for businesses.

In 2009, the city constructed a 15,000 square foot "incubator" building in the industrial park to provide space for entrepreneurs and existing businesses. In addition to the lower operating costs, there is also a support system to help business(es) succeed.   

A Skilled Workforce & Lower Wages Save Businesses Money

Average wages across all sectors of Todd County are markedly lower than the rest of Minnesota -- giving local employers a true cost advantage. Manufacturing wages typically sit 25 percent below the state manufacturing average. For current, more detailed wage information, click here or go to the MN DEED website.

Technical Training Opportunities

The Long Prairie school district is a leader in distance learning. So are the two-year technical colleges in near-by Staples, Wadena, and Alexandria. All three offer extensive online courses, customized training, and industry-specific manufacturing programs.

The Staples campus of Central Lakes College supports Long Prairie manufacturers with programs in heavy equipment, machine tool technology, media, communications, and automated technology. Its unique robotics program is one of the best in the Upper Midwest.

Infrastructure Advantages

Long Prairie’s exceptionally good water system enhances fire fighting capacity, earning the city an ISO rating of 4. This low rating can reduce the cost of property-related insurance by 15-20 percent, creating another bottom-line advantage for new or expanding businesses. The community also offers competitively priced utilities and fast broadband speeds from CTC that are capable of supporting tech companies and data centers.

Fertile Ground for Growing Businesses

Long Prairie has a history of growing successful businesses. The tradition is so strong that many of its large, private-sector businesses have attracted investment from regional or national companies seeking to expand through strategic acquisition.

Employment Wage Report

Todd County Regional Profile

Incubator Brochure