Companies Find Onshoring Opportunities in Washington County

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

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The COVID-19 Pandemic has led American manufacturers to reevaluate their standard business practices due to supply chain disruptions and delayed product deliveries. The last four decades have seen companies offshore manufacturing operations overseas in order to save costs. But as those savings shrink in the current economic climate, companies are now turning to onshoring to recognize the benefits of proximity. This issue is not confined to specific industry segments, as 60% of U.S. manufacturing companies surveyed by Thomas have reported COVID-19 business disruptions.  

Onshoring is the logical solution to reducing the risk of future disruptions and delays, at least in part. Though companies may not be looking to move their entire operations back to the United States, opening U.S. manufacturing facilities as part of their global operations certainly is. In that scenario, Washington County certainly has a lot to offer, including plenty of attractive land, a talented workforce, available financial incentives and a business loan fund.

In addition to companies onshoring directly, 28% of suppliers surveyed reported that they are seeking domestic sources. This will create expansion opportunities for current U.S. manufacturers. Washington County is uniquely positioned to support that growth and to be a home to growing companies, or those onshoring for the first time. 

Why Companies Should Onshore in Washington County 

Washington County has thousands of acres of available commercial sites ready for immediate occupancy in a wide range of categories. Available properties can be found on our website, with examples below:

  1. Crossroads of Oakdale III is zoned for industrial with a total space of 36,990 square feet and various office space areas up to 6,523 square feet. 
  2. The Bielenberg Office property in Woodbury sits on a 55.26 acre lot with 44,313 square feet of available space out of a total 340,000 square feet at the facility. 
  3. The Jamaica Square Business Park has retail space in Cottage Grove. The multi-tenant property has various units available for lease from 1,097 to 4,103 square feet on a 1.25 acre site. 

Not many counties in the entire country can match the location advantages of Washington County. Travel and shipping/receiving to and from anywhere in the country is a 15 minute drive from Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport. The major highways of I-94 and I-35 run through the county and offer driving access to Madison, Milwaukee, Des Moines and Chicago within four to six hours. ANd in an economic climate rewarding collaboration, it is helpful to be located in a county with 18 Fortune 500 companies, including 3M, Best Buy, Target, Securian Financial and United Health Group in a 30 minute radius. 

Washington County has significant tax advantages that make it an extremely attractive option. It has the third lowest property tax in the state, which benefits businesses investing in new headquarters, data centers, distribution facilities or owning a building of any size. 

According to the Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Washington County’s total labor force equaled 141,974 people in 2018 and averaged 1% annual growth for the ten years prior. That workforce is highly educated, evidenced by the large number of colleges and universities located within the Twin Cities region. Employers find a consistent supply of talented interns and recent graduates from the se institutions as well. 

Reasons to Onshore Now

COVID-19 has demonstrated the scope and scale of the impact a global pandemic can make, but it’s not the only disaster that can disrupt supply chains. Environmental factors are another one. The world has suffered an increase in severe hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, etc. - all things that are unpredictable and cannot be controlled. Unfortunately, many of the same countries where U.S. companies have manufacturing operations have been hardest hit by these disasters and their infrastructure is not secure enough to withstand them. For example, the 2001 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand had crippling effects on the electronics and automotive manufacturing sectors. Put simply - the global supply chain is fragile. Businesses who want to protect themselves must onshore at least part of their operations to protect their interests.

We Can Help

The process of finding a site, obtaining permits, constructing a facility, hiring and training a workforce may seem daunting. Washington County understands and we are here to help. If onshoring is part of your business protection strategy, we can provide assistance throughout the entire process. Contact us to learn more.

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