Staff

Karl Schuettler

Karl Schuettler directs the Northland Connection program and manages its Advisory Committee. He also researches and analyzes economic trends to support Northland communities in their economic strategies and provides support for community development efforts across the region. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Minnesota.

Laura Nilsen

Laura Nilsen manages the Northland Connection property database and assists in administrative operations for the Northspan team, including grant writing and logistical support for regional partnerships. She also works on other Northspan-powered programs such as NORTHFORCE and the Minnesota Opportunity Collaborative. She holds a bachelor’s degree in legal studies in business administration from University of St. Thomas and a dual master’s degree in management and business with a concentration in public administration from the College of St. Scholastica.

Advisory Committee

APEX
Find your competitive advantage right here. Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin have the resources, infrastructure, and workforce needed to support your success. Agile and connected, APEX is the private sector’s economic development force and is best equipped to respond to your needs.

Arrowhead Regional Development Commission
The Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) is a multi-disciplined planning and development organization serving Northeast Minnesota counties of Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis. Its mission is providing local units of government and citizen groups a means to work cooperatively in identifying needs, solving problems, and fostering local leadership.

Carlton County
Carlton County Economic Development provides assistance to local governments and private businesses on economic development initiatives including loan and grant administration, business recruitment and expansion, strategic planning, prospect marketing, and land use planning and development.

Cloquet Economic Development Authority
Cloquet is proud of its diverse business community, which employs many people and provides goods and services to local, regional, national, and international markets. We are committed to maintaining a positive business climate and fully cooperating with the business community to encourage quality economic development and greater employment opportunities in the city.

The Development Association of Superior and Douglas County
The Development Association champions business growth, creation, recruitment, and retention in the City of Superior and Douglas County, Wisconsin. From consulting to making connections to embracing transparency, the Development Association offers services essential to all kinds of businesses.

Duluth Economic Development Authority
Duluth is a First Class city offering first class amenities. The city is situated at the far western tip of Lake Superior and hugs the lake’s shoreline for over 27 miles. Duluth offers majestic views, vibrant arts and culture, opportunities to work for successful companies, and adventure right outside your doorstep.

Duluth Seaway Port Authority
The Duluth Seaway Port Authority is an independent, public agency created by the Minnesota State Legislature to foster regional maritime commerce, promote trade development, facilitate industrial development, and serve as an advocate for port interests here and around the world.

Fond du Lac Reservation Business Committee
The Fond du Lac Band is one of six Chippewa Indian Bands in the state of Minnesota; the Reservation was established by the La Pointe Treaty of 1854. The economic impact is estimated at nearly $119.9 million (2011) in output spending and more than $67.3 million in value added spending from tourism in the MSA.

Grand Rapids Economic Development Authority
Grand Rapids is in the middle of the Minnesota north woods for those seeking the ideal balance of community and wilderness. It’s where the nature of the community reflects and complements the splendor and strength of the outdoors so priorities are in their natural order and perspective remains fresh.

City of Hermantown
The City of Hermantown works daily to accommodate changing market trends and the priorities of a new generation of residents. In 2014, two Amendments were adopted into the Comprehensive Plan.  One outlines a small area planning process to take place within the City over the following 4-8 years.  The second is the Adolph Small Area Plan, covering a 3.5 square mile area in the southwest corner of the City.

Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board
There are many challenges to starting or growing your business today; but in northeastern Minnesota, we’ve never been more committed to making your business a success. The Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board’s (IRRRB) unique business development financing programs are among the most wide-ranging and creative in the United States. Whether you’re establishing a new business or looking to expand, we have the financial tools, dedicated support, and local resources to get you there.

Itasca Economic Development Corporation
Itasca County offers a unique blend of abundant natural resources, state-of-the-art business amenities, and outstanding cultural opportunities strategically located in the heart of North America. When combined with our productive workforce, competitive wage rates, and low cost utilities, Itasca County is an ideal place to start, relocate, or expand your business. Itasca Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has the expertise and resources to help you grow your business in Itasca County.

Koochiching Economic Development Authority
The Koochiching Economic Development Authority (KEDA) is the lead economic development agency for Koochiching County and the City of International Falls in Minnesota’s beautiful border country. Economic development is about jobs and the KEDA was created to be the point-of-contact to assist and simplify the process of locating a business in Koochiching County or expanding an existing business. KEDA can assist with site selection and development, finance, and incentive options working with other economic development agencies, as well as act as a liaison between the various local units of government to handle all of the details of development.

Lake County
Within the boundaries of Lake County are four state parks, a National Forest, and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. All offer superior hiking, camping, fishing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ATV trails. Bordering our county is the largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Superior. Major industries in Lake County are mining, logging, wood products, shipping and transportation, manufacturing, health care, and tourism.

Minnesota Power
With more than 144,000 residential and commercial customers including 16 municipalities and some of the nation’s largest industrial clients, Minnesota Power provides reliable, economical energy and private sector leadership in economic development. We have the resources, connections, and experience to help companies find sites and secure capital for expansion and relocation projects in our 26,000 square mile service area.

The Northspan Group
The Northspan Group delivers high quality, professional business development and community development consulting services to clients in the Upper Midwest. We specialize in creative thinking, enterprising strategies, and effective approaches to help businesses, communities, regions, and organizations achieve their development goals and prosper in a global economy.

St. Louis County Planning
As a regional leader, St. Louis County has vested interest in a strong tax base and the economic well-being of its citizens. The county works in cooperation with communities and regional partners to strengthen the local economy and promote long-term economic vitality. We have several county resources for infrastructure and economic development, and we provide a wide variety of financial and technical support for existing and expanding businesses.

Two Harbors Economic Development Authority
The Two Harbors Economic Development Authority (THEDA) was established in 2010 to preserve and create jobs, enhance the city’s tax base, assist with certain housing initiatives, promote the general welfare of citizens, and to assume primary responsibility for development activities within the city.

Additional Resources

Compare the Northland to the rest of the world with the following sites:

CompareMinnesota
Compare the state of Minnesota with the other 49 states within categories such as gross domestic product, general sales tax rates, and population estimates. There are 49 data sets from which to choose.

Minnesota Compass – Northeast Region
Minnesota Compass is a social indicators project which measures progress in the state, seven regions, 87 counties, and larger cities including Duluth. It also shows data for several unique geographies in the Northland, including Duluth Neighborhoods and the Department of Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation service area.

Cluster Mapping – Duluth MN-Superior WI MSA
This is a regional dashboard providing data on the economic performance, cluster composition, and sub-regional composition of the Duluth-Superior MSA.

Bureau of Economic Activity
The U.S. Department of Commerce researches and provides data and statistics that are easy to print, save, or export. The BEA updates GDP and Personal Income data for this region.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
The U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. It retains past data for comparisons over time.

American Fact Finder
The U.S. Census Bureau uses the American Fact Finder to access data taken from several censuses and surveys. AFF provides population estimates, the American Community Survey, the American Housing Survey, economic surveys, and censuses of governments.