April 2017
Adult Basic Education: The Workforce Puzzle Part 2

There are many different pieces to solving a workforce shortage in a region. One piece, as identified in Region Nine’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, is the support of educational attainment. Educational attainment can be achieved by utilization of programs that build the educational and workforce skills of individuals who did not achieve the skills by traditional means. Enhancing the skills of individuals within a community can help grow the potential labor force. 

One example of educational attainment efforts in the region is Adult Basic Education. Adult Basic Education (ABE) is a statewide educational program designed for adults to build basic literacy skills to become successfully employed. In Minnesota, ABE programs are housed under local school districts and are implemented through 48 regional ABE consortia. Region Nine is served by four ABE consortia. One example is the Mankato Area Adult Basic Education Consortium which covers six public school districts including: Mankato area, New Ulm, Lake Crystal, Sleepy Eye, St. Clair, and Maple River. 

Continue reading the article Adult Basic Education: The Workfroce Puzzle Part 2  which includes an interview with Karen Wolters an Adult Basic Education Coordinator. 
New Commissioners Serving Region Nine
Steve Holmseth
Faribault County Townships

Steve Holmseth is a supervisor for Emerald Township. He was born in Faribault County, graduated from Winona State University, and came home to follow his career in aerial application. In 1991, Steve purchased Fairmont Aerial Ag Inc. located in Fairmont. "I look forward to joining the Region Nine Development Commission to give back to the community that has been great to us," expressed Steve.
Sesemae Glackler-Riquelme, 
Special Interest Group - Youth

Sesemae Glackler-Riquelme is a tenth grader at Mankato West High School. She has been involved with Youth in Government since eighth grade which has given her the background in understanding governmental impact. When she was 13 years old, Sesemae created and established Santa's Little Helpers, a yearly event that provides the opportunity for youth to select gifts for their loved ones. "I am exited about what we can do together to build a future vision for the youth in the Region Nine area," shared Sesemae.
Southeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnership
Sponsors Grower's Network

The University of Minnesota Southeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnership has announced its support of the South Central Minnesota Grower's Network hosted by Region Nine Development Commission. Their contribution to the network, along with the sponsorship of Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, has given local food growers a network in which they are able to share knowledge and solve business problems using the experience of fellow growers. 

The South Central Minnesota Grower's Network gathers business owners to help them develop a core of solid business relationships that result both in bottom line benefits and the professional growth of its members. These monthly gatherings are held at the Region Nine office in Mankato. 

For more information regarding the Grower's Network, contact Jesse Womack at jesse@rndc.org or (507) 389-8873.

Energy Efficiency Options for Affordable Multifamily Housing
Utility incentive/rebate programs and financing options are possibilities to make multifamily housing energy efficient. The Minnesota Multifamily Affordable Housing Energy Network will be presenting on energy efficiency opportunities for multifamily housing on Friday, May 12. This presentation will also explain how energy efficiency can lead to healthy housing. 

Friday, May 12
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Intergovernmental Center
Minnesota Valley Room
Mankato, MN 56001

$$ Grant Opportunities $$
Bush Prize for Community Innovation

Purpose: The Bush Prize for Community Innovation honors and supports innovative organizations with a track record of making great ideas happen. Winners receive a package of recognition, including a flexible grant of 25 percent of the organization’s last fiscal year budget, up to $500,000.

Who is Eligible: Bush Prize grants must be used for a charitable purpose. Organizations that are 501(c)(3) public charities or government entities (including schools) are eligible for the Bush Prize. Groups of organizations (such as coalitions or collaboratives) are eligible to apply, but only one organization may receive the grant.

Deadline: April 27, 2017

The Home Depot Foundation Community Impact Grants 

Purpose: The primary goal is to provide grants and volunteer opportunities to support the renovation, refurbishment, retrofitting, accessibility modifications, and/or weatherization of existing homes, centers, schools and other similar facilities.

Who is Eligible:  The Home Depot Foundation offers grants, up to $5,000, to IRS-registered 501(c) designated organizations and tax-exempt public service agencies in the U.S. that are using the power of volunteers to improve the physical health of their community. Grants are given in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services.

Deadline: December 31, 2017
Calendar of Events