March 2018
Connect Rural Broadband Summit: Limited Seats Left!
Access to high-speed internet is essential to the development of the regional economy and quality of life in south central Minnesota. While there are many challenges, some have broken through the barriers to achieve success. But is it enough?
Thursday, April 5
8:15 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

South Central Service Cooperate
North Mankato, MN 56003
Region Nine Development is hosting the Connect Rural Broadband summit to assess the challenges, share success stories, and identify action steps for the future. Whether you are a community leader, business owner, or service provider, you won't want to miss this important event. There is a registration fee of $25.
Scheduled speaker U.S. Senator Tina Smith.
More workers choosing to delay retirement
There is an increasing trend of workers choosing to delay retirement, whether out of economic necessity or by choice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting adults ages 65 and older will represent the fastest-growing parts of the labor force from 2014 to 2024.

"Public policy has encouraged workers to stay on the job longer," shared Kristian Braekkan, Region Nine's Senior Regional Planner. Social Security pays out less if you retire younger, for example, and fewer workers now have pensions to retire on.

“With the financial crisis a decade ago and the recession that followed, many Americans realized they had to delay retirement because their private plans shrunk,” he said. And many other careers were interrupted by layoffs.

Companies are often the ones nudging workers to stay on.
Photo Credit: Mankato Free Press
What is the Rural Entrepreneurial Venture Program?
In an effort to invigorate entrepreneurs within small towns and to organize leadership within their communities, Region Nine, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, and University of Minnesota Extension have partnered to create the Rural Entrepreneurial Venture (REV) program.

REV is an asset-based community development program with a focus on entrepreneurs. Communities selected to be a part of this program in the Region Nine area are the cities of Blue Earth and Le Sueur. The long-term goals of the program are to increase diversity of the business industry, discover and engage community entrepreneurs, and achieve economic growth and prosperity.

Linda Wallace, Region Nine's senior financial accountant, is working with the City of Le Sueur to achieve the goals and objectives of this program. Working with Wallace, Le Sueur has created a Core Champion Team with Samantha DiMaggio, Le Sueur's community development director, as the REV coordinator. The team has completed several assessments about development history, community readiness and capacity, pains/passions, dreams and initiative expectations. From the assessments, the team has formed their vision and mission statements for their REV community. Le Sueur is in the process of planning a community event to inform the city about the REV program.
Need a Business Loan? Region Nine Can Help!
LuAnn Vanderwerf
RLF Coordinator
507-389-8878 |
Need a business loan? Has a bank denied your request? Region Nine administers a Revolving Loan Fund program to assist existing businesses, as well as new entrepreneurs, in securing financing they are otherwise unable to secure through traditional channels. The primary goal of the program is to create new jobs, or retain existing jobs, in the region. Preference is given to businesses that will add full-time skilled or semi-skilled positions. Region Nine welcomes partnering with other lenders to assist local businesses to succeed and thrive.
Be a part of the Region Nine Team!
Ready to work in a flexible, family-friendly office environment? Region Nine is looking to hire an Executive Assistant to the Executive Director.

Reporting directly to the executive director, the executive assistant provides executive support in a one-on-one working relationship. The executive assistant must be creative and enjoy working within a small, entrepreneurial environment that is mission-driven, results-driven and community oriented. The ideal individual will have the ability to exercise good judgment in a variety of situations, with strong written and verbal communication, administrative and organizational skills, and the ability to maintain a realistic balance among multiple priorities.
Self-Driving Vehicles & Transit
With rapidly-advancing technology, driverless vehicles are expected to be common as soon as 2030. How can this technology be used to help people in our region? What are some causes for concern?
The University of Minnesota Transportation Policy and Economic Competitiveness Program would like to hear from both rural and urban perspectives on how new transportation technologies can work for everyone. This interactive discussion will be held during the Region Nine Commission meeting on April 11 starting at 6:00 p.m.
Have feedback regarding MnDOT's future projects?
Each year, the Area Transportation Partnership solicits, reviews and prioritizes projects that seek federal aid highway, state highway, and federal transit sources of funding. The ATP-7 in MnDOT District 7 recently completed their draft four-year program totaling around $340 million for public review.

MnDOT is hosting an open house to gather input from community members on upcoming transportation projects.
Wednesday, April 11
4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
South Central Services Cooperative
North Mankato, MN
What you need to know for the 2020 Census
2020 might seem far away, but the 2020 Census is just around the corner! Discover why the census is important and the impact it will have on Minnesota communities.

Sit down with local government colleagues from your area as you explore who is involved in the 2020 Census and the different roles the Census Bureau, MN State Demographic Center, and local governments will play throughout the census. You'll get hands on experience with sample activities as you develop strategies that will lead to a successful census for your community. Registration for this event is free.
Thursday, April 12
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Lunch is not provided.

University of Minnesota
Extension Regional Office
Mankato, MN
Openings on the MN Geospatial Advisory Council
The Minnesota Geospacial Advisory Council acts as a coordinating body for the Minnesota geospatial community. It represents a cross-section of organizations that include counties, cities, universities, business, nonprofit organizations, federal and state agencies, tribal government, and other stakeholder groups that benefit from geospatial technology. The open position represents the regional government in Greater Minnesota.
Business Storytelling: Passing Fad or Here to Stay?
Learn how recent research in neuroscience has made storytelling one of the biggest buzzwords in the business world. Explore why organizations should tell stories and what kind of stories are the best. Discover why the most important story isn't about your organization at all, and how the insights you get from customer stories can guide your marketing strategy and make your business better.

Thursday, April 19
8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

Lake Crystal Area Recreation Center
Lake Crystal, MN
This event is free, but registration is requested.
Lori Creighton, Owner
$$ Grant Opportunities $$
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

REAP helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption by purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements in their operations.

This program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.

Deadline: April 30, 2018
Did you know? is a web service that facilitates open dialogue between nonprofits and grantmakers by collecting authentic, real-time reviews and comments on grantseekers' experiences working with funders to encourage more productive philanthropy.

Feedback is shared anonymously and once a funder receives 5 reviews, the data on that under will be posted publicly and funders will have the opportunity to respond to reviews.
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