A Place to Call Home


Living Here


Like people, homes come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges and it’s no different in West Central Minnesota.  One real estate website showed more than 3,000 properties for sale in the region (June 2018).

Rentals also come in many flavors, from efficiencies to whole houses.

If you’d like to talk to someone about renting or buying, our GUIDES are standing by to offer tips and we are recruiting some excellent real estate partners who specialize in relocating families.

In the meantime, here are some living ideas to explore online:

Lakeside living: When you have more than 3,000 lakes in your region, you’ll find lakeside property and rentals .

In my little town: Sidewalks, caring neighbors, reasonable prices and scenic commutes are leading the comeback in small town living.

Farm living is the life for me: If you want farm land, rolling hills or wide open prairies, you will want to live here.

Tiny houses: You can find small properties, but ever notice most tiny houses on TV don’t have winters?

Townhouses/Condos/Apartments: If renting is your choice, you have choices.

Resorts, Hotels, B&Bs: Pleasant places for our temporary residents.

I’ve never been someplace where everyone is so friendly. I liked living in the city, but I really appreciate the country life and all the small towns we can visit. Everything is so close. This place really resonates with me.
— Jessica Sand

A Place to Work



Finding a Job


I think having the opportunity to have a job and work online is big for moving to a small community.
— Tiffany Voigt

If you’re looking for a job, you’ve come to the right place.

West central Minnesota employers get it. They know you have choices. They know you want to find work with people who care, that it’s important for you to fit in…and stand out. We’re still in the “people business” after all.

And getting to work shouldn’t be a pain. That’s why you’ll see lots of smiles from locals when someone talks about being stuck in city traffic.

Finding a job IS work. But most employers have career pages. And WorkForce Center staff in our larger towns love to help.

HERE’S OUR OFFER: if you are considering a move and want to explore the employment landscape, let us know on our contact form and one of our friendly team members will get back to you.

Work from Home

The fusion of high technology and a desirable landscape attracts many “at home” workers to west central Minnesota. Are you one of them?

Every year, high speed internet reaches more and more homes. Quite the feat when you have to navigate hundreds of lakes…3,005 to be exact!

We’ve brought together some telework experts to help answer questions about setting up a home office or finding local work-from-home resources in the area. To reach someone in the know, check and submit “telework” on our contact form.


A Place to Grow and Learn


Find a Place to Grow and Learn in West Central Minnesota!


I live wide open by seizing new opportunities with no regret or fear while cherishing the people and places that I have grown to love,” he said. “I enjoy trying new things, visiting new places, tasting new foods, and meeting new people.
— Dan Appel

Simply put, schools in west central Minnesota are awesome! When we talk to newcomers or visitors, we will hear how they can’t believe the school support we have in our region.

You can look at charts and graphs (like our low teacher-to-student average), you can explore extra-curricular options (sports, arts, music, clubs) or check out that community support (new schools abound, programs being funded).

We have Blue Ribbon schools (US Dept of Education), US News & World Report “best high school” rankings, athletic & academic teams ranked nationally…plus nearly half of our schools are new or have major remodeling projects in the last 10 years!

Our regional universities, colleges and tech schools rank among the nation’s best.

So what are you looking for?

As a parent, you want the best education for your children. With so many great choices, you’ll find a great education and much more.

As a student, you want to be challenged. Our nationally-recognized universities, colleges and tech schools fit the bill.

As an employer, you want a highly-skilled staff. Local customized training programs help check off that box.

Our TEAM MEMBERS can offer you some insights and contacts for finding a great school.

Or if you prefer, our EDUCATION RESOURCES page has links to school districts, colleges and universities.


A Place for Business


Start, Buy or Move Your Business


One thing I enjoy about this community is I was able to get hired by a company on the rise and there’s great opportunity within that company
— Jonnie Schmitz

Entrepreneurs get into business by starting their own, buying an existing one or moving their business to a new place. If that sounds like you, let’s start the conversation!

Business assistance and resources are found all over West Central Minnesota. Individual communities, counties, training centers, economic development groups, mentors and others have one job: helping our businesses succeed. So what do you need? Help with site selection, finance packaging, workforce training, business planning, mentoring, market research? West Central Initiative, the key sponsor of Live Wide Open, is a great place to start that journey.

Contact the communities you’re interested in, or if you’re undecided, let us give you some referrals. Our advisor team members will listen, take notes and suggest some next steps. Just drop us a note using our contact page and be sure to check “business help".