Archives for December 2016

CEDA Team Member Leads Exciting Vision for Regional Tourism Initiative in Houston County

Article by Courtney Bergey
Over the past six months, CEDA team member Courtney Bergey has led the Houston County Economic Development Authority in developing a strategy to support the growing tourism economy in the region. A series of public meetings–three held to date and a fourth scheduled in January–has not only led to increased communication and collaboration between the County‘s communities, but several actionable goals have emerged:
  • Create an enhanced web presence for the county, highlighting the unique recreational assets and natural beauty of the region
  • Develop new ways to support and grow the lodging and hospitality facilities in Houston County
  • Offer business assistance and training to build individual capacity for marketing, with a series of events set to kick off in early 2017
Each convening has drawn over 30 participants of diverse interests and professions, creating innovative partnerships and robust discussion of new ideas to market the region. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 12 at Crescent Moon Retreat in La Crescent. Learn more and RSVP here.

New St. Charles Business Awarded $183,766 From Minnesota Job Creation Fund Through CEDA Authored Application

Article by Cris Gastner

Envirolastech Inc., a recycled materials manufacturer building its new plant in St. Charles, MN, has been awarded a grant designation from the Job Creation Fund Program through the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development. The company is scheduled to add 26 jobs over the next 2 years after opening its new 3 million dollar manufacturing plant in the City of St. Charles. CEDA Senior Vice President Cris Gastner worked with company executives to complete the application.  If Envirolastech attains the job creation and construction projections, the company is set to receive a grant award totaling $183,766.

“Envirolastech is bringing needed employment investment to a community that was devastated when North Star Foods closed after a fire in 2009,” said Shawntera Hardy, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. “The company, with its innovative products, has much promise and is well positioned for growth in the green-building sector.”

If all goes according to plan, the company will invest just over $1 million in construction of its new building and fill it with over $2 million in equipment that will be used to manufacture construction products such as waterproof decking, siding, and paver blocks out of used glass and plastic.

Envirolastech won the clean technology category in the Minnesota Cup competition in 2012. Minnesota Cup is the largest statewide startup competition in the country.  Each year the MN Cup competition awards over $400 thousand in prize money to start-up companies in MN.