Northeast Minnesota Industry Cluster Study

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Northeast Minnesota Industry Cluster Study

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This major study explored factors contributing to the economic competitiveness of northeastern Minnesota communities and counties. It has a strong focus on economic and industrial development. The study focuses on four “clusters”: forest products, tourism, health services and information technology. The first two clusters are assumed to require an adequate supply of water, and are assumed to greatly influence the quality and quantity of water available for multiple uses. Summary: "This regional study sought to understand the issues shaping the competitiveness of Northeast Minnesota’s industry clusters. The study follows the Michael Porter 'industry cluster' approach to understanding competitiveness. The project identified four clusters for the region: 1) forest products, 2) tourism, 3) health services, and 4) information technology. Focus groups and individual interviews with local business leaders and economic development professionals offered insight into the industries. The study region encompassed a twelve-county area of northeastern Minnesota that centered on the city of Duluth (St. Louis County). Also included are Aitkin, Carlton, Chisago, Cook, Isanti, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake, Mille Lacs, and Pine Counties.”


Saint Paul: University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, and Bureau of Business and Economic Research University of Minnesota-Duluth.

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Munnich, Lee W; Chatfield, Nathan; Schrock, Greg; Lichty, Richard W; McIntosh, Chris; Wittrock, Tiana. (2001). Northeast Minnesota Industry Cluster Study. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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