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Faribault: The Most Global Small City in Minnesota

December 19, 2018

Elise Buchen, Deanna Kuennen, Samantha Markman, and Laurence Reszetar promote the State of Minnesota to international business investors at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Trade Office.

This post is part of SelectUSA’s EDO Spotlight series, highlighting the work of EDOs around the country recruiting foreign direct investment, how that work supports jobs and economic growth across the United States, and how SelectUSA partners with EDOs to support economic development.

Standing on Park Avenue in Faribault, Minnesota is just like standing on Park Avenue in New York: everywhere you turn you see successful global businesses.

If you face east, you see the U.S. headquarters of a multi-generational Mexico-based company. Turn west, and you see the U.S. headquarters of a world-leading, high-tech French company. Look slightly northwest and there is a large warehouse teeming with traffic, which is owned by a German company. Just up Park Avenue, a large Japanese firm is building a state-of-the-art facility.Faribault Banner Picture

Faribault is just like New York City… if New York City had a population of 24,000, was located an hour south of Minneapolis, and had a median house price of $182,400.

In truth, Faribault might be the most global small city in Minnesota, if not the world. Its motto is Small Town Pride, Big City Opportunity, and it has the data to back both of those up. Faribault proudly features the following countries and businesses:

  • The global headquarters of Sage Electrochromic Glass, a division of Saint-Gobain (France), is located in Faribault. Sage manufactures specialized glass that remains transparent even as it uses electrochromic technology to block out the solar radiation. Glass is expensive and difficult to ship, so you know it must be the high-quality if it’s being manufactured in Faribault and shipped around the world, from Dubai to Dallas.
  • Faribault Foods, owned by La Costeña (Mexico), just completed its $150 million dollar investment in a first-of-its-kind, vertically-integrated food manufacturing plant in Faribault. When La Costeña made the decision to expand its facility, the opportunities in Faribault caught the company’s attention.
  • Daikin Applied (Japan) just announced its $40 million expansion to build some of the most energy-efficient cooling HVAC units in the U.S. At the heart of the expansion was an unprecedented effort where the county, city, and local economic development authority jointly conducted hearings where the permits and incentives for the project were approved simultaneously by all three bodies. This gave the green light for the company to convert a vacant 300,000 square foot warehouse to a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.
  • A German-owned powerhouse in food distribution located on the banks of Interstate 35, Aldi Distribution provides a high-class warehouse and distribution facility for the multinational Aldi food stores. This was one of the first Aldi Distribution facilities in Minnesota. The company recently completed a 60,000 square foot expansion, further proving that Faribault can support the growth and expansion of global industries.

Faribault’s small town pride shows in that nearly 1,350 Faribaultians work for these foreign-owned enterprises. They have titles like mechanical and quality engineers, production control analysts, and manufacturing services liaisons. It’s because of their commitment and the leadership of these global corporations that Faribault’s Small Town Pride creates Big City Opportunities that meet the world’s demands and continue to grow the world’s economy.