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Knife River From the Ground Up

Building Upon 100 Years of Industry Growth

Knife River, founded over a century ago, is one of the largest construction materials and contracting businesses in the U.S. With locations from Hawaii to Alaska the West Coast to Minnesota, Knife River stacks up some significant numbers including 1 billion tons of rock and 6,000 employees. 

As an aggregate and aggregate-based material supplies and complementary construction services company, Knife River was established in North Dakota near the Knife River, reaching Minnesota in 2002. Today, there are 35 locations in the state, with several canvassing Central Minnesota including St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, St. Joseph, Richmond, Becker, Milaca, Little Falls, and Annandale to name a few.

Toby Opstedal is Knife River’s Human Resources Manager and discussed what makes Central Minnesota special. “Location and people. Minnesota is a beautiful state with amazing diversity, and having companies located throughout the state allows us to enjoy that beauty while helping improve our communities and provide opportunities for local residents.”


“Building strong communities doesn’t stop where the pavement ends. We are involved in our communities and also support charitable efforts—with an emphasis on programs for youth, veterans, and community betterment.”—Knife River


Rock Solid Culture

Knife River has been expanding and growing over the course of a century in business. Opstedal said, “Growth is like creating a new road—we never know what will be around the corner. But we know that it will take a team to get there and that is the exciting part. As we grow in our future, we have the ability to help improve the quality of life for our team and join the team members throughout our communities. Economic stability is the key to a solid foundation; it’s important for our futures as we make decisions to expand, develop, and invest in our organizations to meet the needs and create opportunities in our communities that thrive.” 

He continued, “Our culture is built from the foundation of our Minnesota people, sharing ideas with each other, setting goals, and working towards them as a team in a safe and effective manner is what builds our culture and keeps it going. Our key talents come from the team, everything from making quality products such as a rock or sand for schools or housing to building airports from the ground up.”


Calling on Community

Opstedal mentioned the importance of being a pro-community organization. “Supporting the St. Cloud Shines’ initiative is an excellent opportunity for reaching out. Whether you’re looking for a career, education, or just seeing local events. It’s like a one-stop shop for getting information about the surrounding areas.”

He concluded, “We are always excited to bring on new talents. With the market areas we are located in, the ability to offer opportunities in many locations is a great advantage. With our people-first attitude, we strive to provide a safe working environment, competitive wages, and a great benefits package to go along with that. The in-house training that we provide gives us the ability to offer flexibility and growth within our organization. 

To explore career opportunities at Knife River, visit the careers page.