Assistant County Administrator
Daniel Weber
Assistant County Administrator/
Economic Development Specialist

Success. It's what every business owner and executive seeks. Choosing the right environment to achieve that success can be a business's most important decision.

Sherburne County is committed to:

  • Understanding the needs of growing businesses
  • Providing prompt, friendly service to help businesses expand efficiently
  • Creating a healthy, stable environments where residents, businesses and communities can grow and succeed
  • Keeping agriculture a leading industry in Sherburne County while supporting and enhancing county and local efforts to preserve and protect critical farmland

Sherburne County is committed to helping businesses from all sectors find the sites, workforce and resources they need to thrive. A variety of successful business and industrial parks and active economic development authorities support development activity.

Sherburne County Economic Development Strategic Plan PDF

Location & Access:

Sherburne County located in the rapidly growing area between the St. Cloud and Minneapolis-St. Paul MSAs. Strategically located on the northwestern edge of the Greater MSP region, it is uniquely positioned to support the southeast expansion of the St. Cloud area and the northwest expansion of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Northstar Commuter Rail provides convenient access to the downtown Minneapolis at Target Station, a major transit hub for Metro Transit system - including light rail connections to the University of Minnesota and St. Paul via the Green Line (opening in 2014) and MSP International Airport/Mall of America via the Blue Line. Commuter rail stations are located in Elk River and Big Lake. Northstar Link Commuter Bus service connects the commuter rail station in Big Lake with the transit system in St. Cloud, providing convenient access to passengers moving between the two metro areas.

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Major Industries and Employers:

Major industries include utilities, fabricated metal product manufacturing, machinery manufacturing, plastics and rubber manufacturing, furniture and related product manufacturing, manufacturing, health care and retail.

Reflecting its exceptional telecommunications capacity, the county is home to two Fortune 50 data centers  - Target and United Health Care  - as well as the Midwest uplink facility for Direct TV. A group of local energy companies and entrepreneurs earned Elk River, the county seat, the title of "Energy City" by the Minnesota Environmental Initiative.

The following tables show the largest employers in Sherburne County in the Production & Distribution, Retail, and Health Care industries.

Production & Distribution
Employer Product/Service City Total
Sysco Western MinnesotaFood wholesalerSt. Cloud450
Cargill Kitchen SolutionsPoultry Processing PlantsBig Lake435
Crystal CabinetsCabinet mfgrPrinceton342
Remmele Engineering IncSurgical appliances and suppliesBig Lake290
Great River EnergyElectric generationElk River210
Sportech IncSnowmobilesElk River185
Tescom CorporationIndustrial valvesElk River170
Liberty Paper IncCorrugated paper mfgrBecker140
US Distilled ProductsBeverage mfgrPrinceton136
E & O Tool & Plastics IncPlastic injection moldingElk River110
Cretex, IncPrecast concrete productsElk River109
Metal Craft Mch & Engrg IncSurgical & medical instrumentsElk River105
AMCON Block & PrecastConcrete-Block & Brick St. Cloud100
Alltool Pinnacle Design & MfgMetal stampingsElk River99
Acromix MachineryMfgr & custom machiningElk River90
Faribault Foods Beverage IncBottled and canned soft drinksElk River84
Gentra Systems IncDiagnostic substancesBig Lake84
Plaisted CoSand & GravelElk River80
Elk River MachineMachine ShopElk River70
TJ Potter TruckingWarehousingBecker66
Wolf Material Handling SystemsBelt conveyor systemsElk River66
Brothers Fire ProtectionSprinklers-Fire ProtectionElk River65
Select Transcription IncMedical back officeElk River62
Employer Product/Service City Total
Wal-MartGeneral merchandiseElk River354
CobornsGroceryElk River/Big Lake/Princeton265
Becker Furniture WorldFurnitureBecker255
MenardsLumber & home improvementElk River173
First National Financial ServicesFinancial servicesElk River142
The Bank of Elk RiverFinancial servicesElk River107
Cub FoodsGroceryElk River100
Home DepotLumber & home improvementElk River100
Elk River FordAutomobile dealershipElk River94
Jim's MarketGroceryZimmerman52
Health Care
Employer Service City Total
Accurate Home CareHome healthZimmerman1000
Saint Benedict's Care CenterNursing careSt. Cloud540
Fairview NorthlandHealth carePrinceton413
Guardian Angels of Elk RiverNursing careElk River374
Elk River Nursing HomeNursing careElk River240
Avalon Home CareHome healthElk River110
Fairview ClinicElk River60
Allina HealthClinciElk River55

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Population and Workforce:

2016 Population (estimate) 93,457
2016 Households (estimate) 31,681

Sherburne County straddles two of the fastest growing population centers in the state -the Minneapolis Saint Paul metro area and Saint Cloud - and with its good commuter rail and bus service, Sherburne County has experienced rapid residential growth. Sherburne County is expected to be one of the fastest growing counties over the coming decades. From 2010 to 2035, the Minnesota State Demographic Center expects that the county’s population will grow by 73%. Sherburne County’s labor force is projected to grow by 63%. Many residents leave the county for employment, creating an opportunity for new employers to tap an available skilled workforce.

The educational profile of Sherburne County residents is strong. It is particularly well-suited to technical and skilled production and back office operations. Wages are typically lower than the in the Greater MSP core - a bottom-line advantage for employers.

Major Cities & Populations
City Population
Becker 4,781
Big Lake 10,918
Clear Lake 605
Elk River
county seat
located in 2 counties
107 in Sherburne County
St Cloud
located in 3 counties
6,907 in Sherburne County
Zimmerman 5,469
Workforce Growth in Sherburne County

St. Cloud State University, offers fully accredited undergraduate business and MBA programs and a Master of Science in Information Assurance. The 100,000 square foot Integrated Science and Engineering Laboratory Facility reflects the university's commitment to research partnerships with business.

Anoka Technical College and St. Cloud Technical and Community College are located just minutes away and offer excellent support for the manufacturing, medical device and information technology sectors.

Employers appreciate Sherburne County’s workforce characteristics

  • Young, growing population
  • Well-educated - 93.7% of the population graduated from high school and over 63% have at least some college; over 25% have a bachelor’s or graduate degree
  • Rich educational resources including electrical and manufacturing engineering, technical college resources and accredited business and MBA programs. A Master of Science in Information Assurance is available at St. Cloud State University.
  • Extensive commuting out of the county for employment - many workers would prefer to work closer to home
  • Innovation index of 95 - reflects a high degree of innovation
  • Wide salary range reflects access to metro managers & rural production workforce

Located on the edge of the metro area, Sherburne County employers enjoy access to scientific, technical and professional workforce attracted to the metro area as well as the stable, productive, rural workforce.  This also results in more competitive wage rates.  The average hourly wage for manufacturing workers in Sherburne County is 28% lower than in the more urbanized 7-county metro area 15% lower than the nation.

Weekly Wage Comparison

Sherburne County and adjacent counties are expected to enjoy significant labor force growth, even as the overall workforce experiences challenges related to the aging of the baby boom generation.

Projected Labor Force Changes through 2035

Sherburne County Census Data

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Sherburne County offers excellent transportation linkages to the rest of the state and nation. Two four-lane U.S. Highways (169 and 10) provide excellent access to Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Cloud, North Dakota, northern Minnesota and beyond. Three Minnesota highways provide direct access to Interstate 94. The BNSF main line from Chicago to Seattle traverses the county, providing rail service to business parks adjacent to US Highway 10.

Public airports are located in St. Cloud, Princeton and Clear Lake.

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Quality of Life:

Sherburne County residents enjoy the Elk River YMCA, and the Becker Community Center - complete with pool, fitness center and banquet rooms. An extensive network of parks and trails, the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, Sand Dunes State Forest, high quality golf courses, area lakes and the Mississippi River provide access to outdoor fun. Crime, taxes and housing prices all relatively low, make it attractive to younger families and workers.

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Business Advantages:

  • Economic Development Assistance - Sherburne County communities are well organized for economic development and can work quickly to meet business needs.
  • Cost Effective Government - Businesses benefit from high-quality government services while paying among the lowest property taxes in Minnesota.
  • Skilled Workforce - Progressive business/education partnerships ensure that graduates are ready to participate in the global workforce.
  • Attractive Real Estate - Commercial/industrial land is widely available and reasonably priced. Housing prices are significantly below other parts of the metro area.
Economic Development Contact:

Sherburne County Govt Center
ATTN: Dan Weber
           Assistant County Admin
13880 Business Center Dr NW
Suite 100
Elk River, MN 55330-4668

Office Location & Hours

Phone: 763-765-3007
Fax: 763-765-3002

Contact Sherburne County with your questions, comments and feedback