Archives for December 2019

Stewartville, MN EDA Commissions Community Marketing Videos!

Article by: Joya Stetson

CEDA team member Joya Stetson, who serves the City of Stewartville, MN, recently worked with the City’s EDA to commission the creation of some inspirational community marketing videos. These videos, which were all produced by the company HH Solutions, were designed to personify living and working in the City.

Three total videos were created: one short video on living in Stewartville, one short video on working in Stewartville and a longer, combined production that incorporated both living and working in the City. The videos were all centered around interviews with local residents and businesses who recounted their gratitude for and experience with the amenities, incentives and overall helpfulness of City boards and personnel.

“The interviews captured by HH Solutions perfectly exemplify what it feels like to be a part of a community; they grab viewers’ attention and make them feel something,” said Stewartville Mayor Jimmie-John King. “After the unveiling of the videos, our entire EDA Board left feeling extremely proud to be in Stewartville.  It is something we cannot wait to share with the world!”

The Stewartville community videos have already been shared through the City’s social media and website.  HH Solutions also prepared an additional outline of marketing strategies to capitalize on the positive emotions evoked by the videos.

Want to check out the Stewartville community videos?  Click the links below.

Living in Stewartville

Working in Stewartville

Long Form Video

Upsala, MN Conducts Community Healthcare Needs Survey

Article by: Mary Kennedy and Robert Harris III

Robert Harris, the CEDA representative serving as an Economic Development Consultant for the City of Upsala, MN,  recently provided assistance in creating and distributing a Healthcare Needs Survey to Upsala residents. With an impressive response rate of nearly 50%, the results will aid in the attraction of a healthcare provider to the community. Currently, an assisted living facility is slated for construction in the community with an identified developer. To push the project forward, the developer would like a commitment that a healthcare provider will sign a long-term contract with the facility. At this time there is no healthcare provider in Upsala. Residents have to travel a minimum of 15 miles to see a provider, and a minimum of 22 miles to the nearest hospital. Overall, respondents were enthusiastic about the possibility of bringing a healthcare provider to the city. “Upsala has an incredibly engaged and active citizenry, which contributed to the high overall response rate” said Harris. 

Grand Meadow, MN Receives $6,300 CEDA-Authored SMIF Grant For Civic Engagement Events

Article by: Mary Kennedy and Marty Walsh

The City of Grand Meadow, MN has been awarded $6,300 from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) for a series of events to build Civic Engagement. The Grant was written by CEDA’s Marty Walsh, based on input from a public listening session that was held as part of participation in the Greater Minnesota Future’s Project (GMFP). (Grand Meadow applied for and was admitted to the GMFP in partnership with Southern Minnesota Together and the University of Minnesota Design Center last year).

The public meeting and other work undertaken by the GMFP Steering Committee found that Civic Engagement was one of the biggest challenges facing the community, and that while the community is tight knit, there are limited opportunities for newcomers to the community to meet people. Additionally, many people were not aware of how to participate in City boards and commissions. 

The SMIF Grant will pay for three events repeated quarterly throughout one year:

– Newcomers Dinners: Residents new to the community in the last five years will be invited to a free dinner to meet other newcomers and long term residents who have volunteered to welcome new people and families.

– Game Nights: All community residents will be invited to participate, with special invitations extended to seniors and youth. City staff, paid through the grant, will help facilitate conversation and build new relationships.

– Community Grant Nights: These nights will allow the City to leverage funds from the One Time Exemption use of Department of Employment and Economic Development Loan Funds that the City will be converting to general use dollars. The City Council is allocating $20,000 for a citizen led committee to further distribute to Citizen projects that improve the community.

All the events will include updates on various City committees and encourage participation in more community events.

CEDA Created Young Professional Network is Successful in Jackson, MN

Article by: Mary Kennedy

CEDA representative Tom Nelson who serves Jackson, MN led efforts to establish a networking group for young professionals in the Jackson area. This was in response to requests from local employers who asked the economic development office to assist the community in retaining young professionals. Last month, the first event was held, with nearly 40 attendees from local businesses. Nelson explains that the benefit of the Jackson Area Young Professionals Network is that the group provides an environment for people in town to connect.

Blue Earth Receives Technical Assistance from National Park Service

Article by: Mary Kennedy

Mary Kennedy, CEDA’s representative serving the City of Blue Earth, worked with the Blue Earth Active Living Coalition this summer to apply for technical assistance from the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program through the National Park Service (NPS). Kennedy was recently made aware that the Blue Earth Active Living Coalition’s project was selected to receive the technical assistance beginning this fall. The community will have the opportunity to work with experienced community planners who will assist with setting priorities to develop concept plans for walking and biking path connections within City limits, identify potential funding strategies, and implement actionable short and long-term plans to pursue financial opportunities.