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ENEWS: Blueprint in Little Falls, Workforce Opportunities, Welcoming on the Range

Date Published: 06/26/2019

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Economic Development in Little Falls

This afternoon Growth & Justice will be at Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace in Little Falls, MN for a central Minnesota focused event, with local and regional highlights reflecting the Minnesota Equity Blueprint’s second section – Economic Development. We’ll be joined by the Region Five Development Commission, Rural Renewable Energy Alliance, Five Wings Art Council, Initiative Foundation and others.  Come for the economic development conversation, and stay for the Creative Cart Studio, plus tasty bites from A.T. The Black & White!

Formerly Incarcerated Minnesotans in the Workforce

One section of the soon-to-be-released Economic Development chapter focuses on preventing entry and addressing racial disparities in the criminal justice system, while also investing in people with criminal backgrounds by engaging them back into the workforce and fabric of our communities. A recent Star Tribune article features Quality Ingredients in Burnsville, MN which works with Twin Cities Rise to provide jobs to formerly incarcerated individuals. CEO Isabelle Day, “is delighted with their work ethic, attendance record and what they bring to the company.” Not only is Quality Ingredients providing opportunity, but also financially empowering their employees with its 401(k) retirement plan that offers up to 10% of compensation regardless of what employees are able to contribute.

Call for Welcoming Communities on the Iron Range

Another theme prevalent in the Minnesota Equity Blueprint is the social and economic imperative for immigration. Regions from across the state are implementing welcoming communities and community attractiveness as economic development tools. An op-ed in the MinnesotaBrown, a local Iron Range publication, discusses decreasing population with the 2020 Census on the horizon and provides a solution. Aaron Brown states, “In other words, our policy must become attraction. The Iron Range must become what it was for many of our ancestors: a canvas to paint a life upon. Contrary to the company line, immigrants didn’t come because they loved mining. They came to provide a better life for the next generation, to set them free in body and mind.”

Register for Entrepreneurship in Waseca

Registration is now open for the inaugural Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC) conference September 5-6, 2019 in Waseca, Minnesota! Come to share ideas, learn best practices, and find tools and resources to support your entrepreneurial work. For more event details and to register, visit https://z.umn.edu/CEC_Conference.  Jane Leonard, president of Growth & Justice, has been on the advisory team helping organize the conference. 

Quote: “We need people. Northern Minnesota needs all kinds of people to do all kinds of things. That’s not to dismiss the people we have, but to highlight a philosophy this region needs to embrace. People are good. No matter what they look like or where they’re from.” Aaron Brown in MinnesotaBrown article entitled “Census, redistricting will reshape Minnesota’s balance of power”.


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