November 2017
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F.Y.I. is an electronic publication of The Northspan Group, Inc.

Ground Breaks on Cook County Housing Project
Randy Lasky - (218) 529-7561   
Northspan President Randy Lasky (center; holding shovel) joins community leaders at the October 2 groundbreaking. Photo credit: Rhonda Silence, WTIP Community Radio.
In the past, workforce housing wasn't exactly a topic on the radar for economic development organizations. But as we come to recognize the interconnections between housing, workforce development, quality of life, and growing our businesses, making sure the regions where we operate have high-quality homes that are within their budgets. A new housing development in Grand Marais is the fruit of Northspan's latest efforts to think creatively about community development, and just another example of how our long-running partnerships produce results for the communities we serve.

The housing project was the culmination of Northspan's long-term involvement in Cook County strategic economic development efforts. In 2012, a group of county stakeholders engaged Northspan President Randy Lasky to facilitate the launch of the Go Cook County initiative, which helped lay the foundation for a systematic assessment of the county's needs and future development goals.  Addressing affordable workforce housing needs emerged as the major economic development priority from this process.
Northspan Ups Its Social Media Game
Karl Schuettler - (218) 529-7564  
In case a newsletter every other month isn't giving you enough Northspan in your life, we've expanded our social media presence over the past year to give users more immediate access to information on our work. Northspan has a Facebook page and a LinkedIn page, and the Northland Connection program administered by Northspan has a Twitter account.
Northspan will use these accounts to direct partners to valuable resources, build awareness of Northspan services, and highlight success stories in the places we serve. Follow our accounts today and join us in a conversation on the advancement of regional economic development in the Upper Midwest.
NORTHFORCE's New Team Member Leads Year Two of Mentor Connection
Krissy Johnson - 630-621-8900 

Krissy Johnson, NORTHFORCE
It's been a busy fall for NORTHFORCE, the Northland region's talent development initiative jointly administered by Northspan and the Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX). NORTHFORCE has launched another round of its Mentor Connection program and brought on Krissy Johnson to serve as its Young Professional and Development Consultant.

 Mentor Connection, a long-running program that moved under the NORTHFORCE umbrella last year, connects local college students with professional mentors who help build their networks in the Duluth area and coach them on life in the working world. This year, Mentor Connection has 56 participating students, all of whom have been successfully matched with a mentor in their field. Approximately one half are students in the College of Business at the University of Minnesota Duluth, while the other half are from the College of St. Scholastica. The program gives the students a window into the Duluth area professional world and helps retain them in the region after graduation.