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 $220 million to the local economy. Hospital employees alone spend $96 million on retail sales and contribute $6.1 million in state sales tax revenue.
Other leading employers include the public schools, Armour Eckrich Foods, Cargill, Curries Company, Mason City Clinic, The Principal Financial Group Pension Center, Woodharbor Cabinetry and Kraft Foods. Existing companies 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.
Workforce - It’s All About the People
According to Blue Zones research, people who know their purpose live up to seven years longer than those who don’t. North Iowa employers provide challenging, fulfilling work.
Together, Mason City and Clear Lake draw a labor pool from 15 plus counties surrounding us, encompassing a population of approximately 195,000. Our region has a strong heritage of extremely hard working manufacturing and agricultural workers that are heralded for their productivity in comparison to counterparts across the country.
Our largest employer is Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa with over 2,600 employees in the region.
In addition, we are growing in the technology and professional services fields, all resulting in a dedicated and diverse workforce.
Iowa’s workforce is educated and productive. The state has taken a proactive approach to transform its public education system to focus on student achievement and meeting the skills gap. Quality education to ensure a quality workforce is a shared community value.