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Biz Buzz: Construction begins on Wings Financial Credit Union

Building in Baxter as the prime real estate around Costco begins to take shape. Grand View Lodge adds an executive chef and it's manufacturing month. Average annual wages for workers in manufacturing are $70,860, 10% higher than across all industries in Minnesota.

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Nor-Son Construction is beginning on the Wings Financial Credit Union site by Costco in Baxter. A groundbreaking ceremony took place Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. Renee Richardson / Brainerd Dispatch
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Wings Financial Credit Union hosted a groundbreaking ceremony last week for its new location in Baxter.

The credit union is being constructed on 1.75 acres north of Forthun Road on land that is between Costco and Highway 371, just north of the CentraCare-Baxter Specialty Clinic.

The project is with Nor-Son Construction.

The plans before the city of Baxter were for one buildable lot for a new 3,271-square foot credit union building with its front entrance and parking to the south. Access will be from the east using the shared drive aisle on the Costco property. The site is right next to Costco across the service drive. The credit union plans included a detached drive through station on the east side of the development.

RELATED: Loidé Oils and Vinegars adds to Downtown Brainerd shopping opportunities Extra virgin olive oils, balsamic vinegars, gifts and high-end appliances are all part of this 2019 Destination Downtown Business Challenge finalist with its new Brainerd store on Laurel Street.
Initial work on the project has begun with the promise of favorable weather in the current extended forecast.

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Wings Financial acquired Brainerd Savings & Loan, with its branch in Brainerd, making the announcement in January with a closing set for May. Wings is also noted for its partnership with Carvana when the auto retailer moved into Minnesota. Carvana works with customers to shop online with virtual tours of automobiles and a seven-day return policy to replace the test drive. Customers can also sell and trade their vehicles through Carvana.

RELATED: Biz Buzz: Credit union seeks to build branch by Costco just off Highway 371 Wings Financial plans new credit union branch in Baxter, Downtown Brainerd adds food and artisan vendors each Tuesday and ordering from Best Buy now means there are multiple locations where orders can be picked up, including two in Brainerd.
Look for more information on the project in next week’s business section.

Grand View Lodge in Nisswa appointed William Coyle as its executive chef, making the announcement as summer was moving into the autumn season. The resort reported Coyle will drive the culinary operations with the seven dining venues and banquet operations.

At Grand View Lodge, Coyle will be charged with overseeing CHAR Craft Steaks, Cru Restaurant and Wine Bar, Northwoods Pub, On the Rocks, Freddy’s Sports Grill, Preserve Pub, Tanque Verde Cantina, Grand Breakfast, and all banquet services.

“We are excited to name Chef Coyle as our Executive Chef,” said Donald Lenahan, general manager of Grand View Lodge, in a news release. “With over 20 years of experience in Hotels, Resorts, Casinos and free-standing restaurants, Chef Coyle’s extensive resume makes him the perfect candidate to lead our team and move our culinary operations to new levels for all of our resort guests and local community.”

The resort reported Coyle most recently served as the executive chef at Mancy’s Steakhouse in Toledo, Ohio, coming after working within Hollywood Casino in several posts, including assistant executive chef where he oversaw operations for multiple outlets including Forbes Four Star rated steakhouse, Final Cut. Coyle was also reported to have chef positions at Ameristar Casino in Missouri, Francisco Grande Golf Resort and Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa in Arizona, among others.

“I look forward to sharing some new flavors, presentations, and seasonal cooking specialties with the folks at Grand View but making sure I work with as much farm/land-to-table as possible,” Coyle said in the news release.

Coyle said he moved to the Midwest nearly a decade ago. He is married with four children.

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Gov. Tim Walz proclaimed the entire month of October as Manufacturing Month recognizing the critical importance of manufacturing to Minnesota’s economy and highlighting the many career opportunities.

  • Manufacturing provided 14% of the state’s gross domestic product and accounted for 11.4% of statewide employment in 2020.

  • Over 309,000 people work in manufacturing in Minnesota and, in terms of direct and indirect jobs, manufacturing supports almost 900,000 jobs, or roughly 33% of all the state’s jobs.

  • Average annual wages for workers in manufacturing are $70,860, 10% higher than across all industries in Minnesota.

RELATED: Biz Buzz: Worker shortage remains the hot topic It's not a new discussion as the worker shortage in the area, state and nation has been a challenge for years with flexible work schedules and automation expected to help, but there is no question it's an employee market right now with many options for those looking to get back into the workplace or make a change.
“Manufacturing jobs pay well and many offer opportunities for advancement on a promising career path,” said Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Steve Grove in a news release. “Minnesota added 2,300 new manufacturing jobs in August. Minnesota manufacturers could likely continue adding new jobs for some time, if there are enough workers to fill them. At DEED, we are focused on highlighting manufacturing employment opportunities throughout the state.”

“Many manufacturing jobs can be started with a high school diploma and employer provided on-the-job training. Several of the current Top 30 Jobs in Demand in Minnesota are in manufacturing — including production workers and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers,” the state reported in a news release.

Other points of note by the state include:

  • The next generation of workers will be a much more racially and ethnically diverse workforce than in past generations, and DEED is working with Minnesota manufacturers to enhance outreach to youth, especially youth from Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities. The number of Minnesotans from BIPOC communities is expected to grow by 61.4% between 2018 and 2038, while the number of white residents will decrease by 1.6% during that same time frame.

  • Minnesota has more than 8,000 manufacturers making a wide range of products. Most manufacturing jobs in the state are concentrated in these areas: food manufacturing, computer and electronic products, fabricated metal products, machinery, medical devices and miscellaneous products, printing, plastics and rubber products, and chemical products.

For more information about jobs and other resources, go to CareerForceMN.com/Manufacturing .

Renee Richardson, managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchBizBuzz.
Renee Richardson is managing editor at the Brainerd Dispatch. She joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 1996 after earning her bachelor's degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University.
Renee Richardson can be reached at renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
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