We're Here for You, Central Minnesota: COVID-19 Updates


Make a Disaster-Relief Donation

Initiative Foundation Get Logos
Initiative Quarterly Magazine
Initiative Quarterly

IQ Magazine

A Complete Economy


Summer 2009

If you're like dozens of leaders, you're tired of all the media gloom and doom about the economy. Could this cycle of fear be lengthening our current recession? Are there any local signs or stories of success? What will the "new economy" look like? Where do we go from here?

In our 2009 Economic Opportunity Series, IQ delves deep into central Minnesota business and industry to find answers to these questions and more.

Starting in July, we explored a cornerstone industry that may hold the keys for an economic turnaround. We bust the myths of manufacturing and share why these blue-collar innovators deserve more support.



We often measure economic vitality by the bustle of downtown, the average length of checkout lines, and the number of vacant parking spaces on Main Street. In central Minnesota's recovering economy, however, it's the unheralded residents of industrial parks who are quietly setting the table. Feast of famine, our main course is manufacturing.

Industrial Revolution

America's image of manufacturing jobs is painted in sepia tones, where hot, overworked assembly-line employees perform the same task day after thankless day. Today, many of central Minnesota's high-tech manufacturers are battling this negative perception even more thean the slumping economy.

Elements of Success

Depsite the economy, central Minnesota manufacturers continue to transform wood, metal and plastic into economic growth. Meet three CEOs who are proving that the rumors of manufacturing's demise are greatly exaggerated.

Plant Food

As communities seek to attract and grow manufacturing "plants" that enrich their local economies, they can follow the formula of central Minnesota leaders who have discovered the key ingredients of an industial-strength fertilizer.

Red Sense

Rising up from rapid industrialization, Chinese manufacturers have burst onto the scene of international competition. Facing aggressive marketing and rock-bottom price points, central Minnesota companies have been forced to innovate and compete like never before. Despite the headlines, manufacturing is still alive, but are those China rumors true?