Guest Column: ALEDA has been a part of many projects

Published 8:22 pm Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Guest Column by Noelle Hagen

Noelle Hagen


What is economic development? The International Economic Development Council defines it as a set of programs and policies that aid in the creation, retention and expansion of jobs; the development of a stable tax base; and the enhancement of wealth. Economic development can look different community to community. Across the country, economic developers work for regional, state, county and city economic development organizations, chambers of commerce and other business support agencies, community and neighborhood development organizations, technology development agencies, utility companies, educational institutions, consultancy firms, redevelopment authorities and many other types of organizations.

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The types of activities economic developers perform can include real estate development and commercial revitalization, workforce development, infrastructure and business finance, business marketing, attraction, expansion, retention, community development, industrial rehabilitation and location, international trade, tourism development and many more.

At Albert Lea Economic Development Agency, our staff is focused on business retention and expansion, marketing, attraction and small business development and entrepreneur programming. We also have land and buildings available for lease or purchase. While we have a variety of tools available locally, we also work strategically with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Center and others to help our local businesses find the resources and tools they need to grow.

Some of the projects ALEDA has been involved in are:

• Business expansion: Bragen Rights Photography, Advanced Family Dental, Zumbro River Brand, Pro Manufacturing, Schipper’s Pro Power Wash

• Business retentions: Geneva Lumber Co., Albert Lea Tree Service, AmTech, SAR Manufacturing, Interstate Packaging

• New businesses: Mortarr, The Thirsty Fox, Peppered Cow, The Outlet, VA Clinic, Jensen Excavating, Holiday Inn Express, Prairie Senior Cottages, Allure Salon, Rustic Winery (Three Oak Vineyards and Winery)

• Development of two new industrial parks: ALEDA Park and I-35/I-90 Business Park

ALEDA serves as the mechanism where the county, city and the private sector work together for economic development in Albert Lea and Freeborn County. Our mission is “To provide and promote services and resources to retain, expand, create and attract businesses, increase tax base and create quality employment opportunities in Freeborn County.”

If you have any questions about economic development in Albert Lea and Freeborn County you can reach us at 507-373-3930 or

Noelle Hagen is the assistant executive director at the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency.