Isanti County Profile

Location and Access

Located 35 miles straight north of downtown Minneapolis on Central Avenue (MN 65), Isanti County communities offer the closest tax-free JOBZ development zones to Minneapolis.  Highway 95 provides easy access to I-35 to the east, and St. Cloud to the west.  The county’s proximity to I-35 and US Hwy 169 makes it a place of promise for companies ready to relocate or expand just north of the urban core.  It is located on the BNSF Railway’s mainline between Minneapolis and Duluth.  High speed passenger rail and commuter rail stations are in the planning stages for Isanti County.

Major Industries and Employment

Isanti County is home to more than two dozen tech-intensive manufacturers in diverse industries – including metals, plastics, automotive parts, printing/publishing, testing labs, food processing, and materials handling.  They provide finished goods or parts meeting the highest quality standards for medical devices, recreational vehicles, grain-handling equipment, food products, electronic equipment, automobiles, and other products.  Several expanded significantly in 2010 and 2011.

Major employers include TEAM Industries, Cambridge Metals & Plastics/Water Works, US Water, Aurelius Manufacturing, Adventure Publications, Arrow Tank & Engineering, and Schlagel Manufacturing.  MAPE USA, an Italian-owned manufacturer of engine components, maintains two Foreign Trade Zones in Cambridge.  Ever Cat Fuels, an innovative bio-diesel processing company, located to the City of Isanti in 2009.

As a free-standing regional center, Cambridge is home to Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Allina Medical Center and Hospital, a regional library, and a wide array of retailers.

Manufacturing employment in the county is 13.6% of total employment; higher than the nation at 10.2% and Greater MSP at 12.04%.  (Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, 2010.)

Population and Workforce

Isanti County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state due to highly regarded small towns and school districts, reasonable housing prices, and ready access to employment opportunities locally and in the metro area. Between 2010 and 2030, the MN State Demographic Center expects the county’s population to grow 53% and the labor force to grow by 41%.

Isanti County has a diverse workforce that draws from 14 surrounding counties – including employees who "reverse commute" from more urbanized parts of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Nearly half of the workforce currently commutes to the Twin Cities.  Expanding local employment opportunities have the potential to keep more of these employees in the county.

Wages are typically lower than the Twin Cities core – a bottom-line advantage from local employers.

2010 Population: 37,816 2010 Households: 13,972

(Sources: US Census, 2010 and MN State Demographic Center)


The county is connected by excellent highway access, daily BNSF mainline rail freight service between Minneapolis and Duluth, and a number of trucking options.  Business travelers have two airport options: Cambridge Municipal Airport offers a 4,000 foot, paved, lighted runway; and global access is available less than an hour away at Minneapolis/Saint Paul International Airport.

Isanti County is in the planning stage for passenger, commuter, and industrial rail.  For information, download the Northern Lights Express Feasibility Study produced by the Minneapolis-Duluth/Superior Passenger Rail Alliance.

Cities & Industrial Parks 2010 Population City Economic Development Websites Economic Development Contact
Braham Industrial Park 1,793 City of Braham Economic Development Sally Hoy
Cambridge Opportunity Industrial Park 8,111 City of Cambridge Economic Development Stan Gustafson 
Isanti Centennial Complex 5,251 City of Isanti Economic Development Sean Sullivan