Fillmore County Hosts Summit

Article by: Joya Stetson

Fillmore County held an informational summit on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 for economic development professionals throughout the county.

The event, which was held at the Fillmore County Office Building in Preston, Minnesota, delivered valuable information on project Destination Medical Center as well as regional labor market information.

Speaker John Murphy, representing Mayo Clinic and Destination Medical Center (DMC), shared that over the next 20 years, 6 billion dollars will be invested in the generation of 35,000-40,000 jobs.  According to Murphy, DMC is planning to focus on ensuring Rochester and surrounding areas have affordable and desirable housing for the diverse workforce; increasing the number of hotels, hospitality, retail, arts and culture options in the area; putting an emphasis on sports, recreation, health and wellness; establishing learning opportunities; and retaining organizations with new research and technology in the region.  Murphy also noted the importance of cross-community collaboration during the implementation of DMC.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) presenters, Mark Schultz and Kevin Kelleher, discussed the low unemployment rates in Minnesota.  Schultz emphasized the importance of wages and their role in the retention of labor. Schultz conveyed that methods of acquiring and retaining labor may include the following ideas: ensuring competitive wages, looking at offering flexible scheduling, more consistently and appropriately motivating employees, and holding hiring events for face to face interaction with employers. Kelleher also reviewed information on available incentive programs through the State of Minnesota.

“The summit was a really successful means of communicating important information to the county and getting economic development professionals together for meaningful discussions.  Fillmore County plans on facilitating more of these types of events in the future,” said Cris Gastner, CEDA Senior Vice President and EDA Director for Fillmore County.