Thursday, January 18, 2018
News in the Region
Executive Women's Council: 
Wednesday, January 24 | Kieran's Irish Pub | Register

As technology continues to advance, cybersecurity is top of mind for everyone. While hackers and the dark web may seem like characters in a science fiction novel, they are in fact, real threats to business as usual. Become better equipped to identify the truth from the myths as a panel of experts discuss the latest threats and ways to protect yourself and your employees.

* Lori Blair, Sr Security Analyst, FRSECURE
* Mary Frantz, Managing Partner, Enterprise Knowledge Partners, LLC (EKP)
* Chum Struve, IDShield Employee Benefits and Small Business Director, LegalShield
* Moderator Melissa Krasnow, Partner, VLP Law Group LLP

Tim Pawlenty won't run for Al Franken/Tina Smith U.S. Senate seat
Former Republican Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will not run for the U.S. Senate in November. Pawlenty, who has been courted by numerous donors and influential Republicans to run for the seat formerly held by Al Franken, made his announcement on the Fox Business Network Tuesday. "I am very interested in public service and service for the common good," Pawlenty said on air. "There are a lot of different ways to do that, but I'll tell you today that running for the United States Senate in 2018 won't be part of those plans."

Read the full article from the Pioneer Press here.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce to push Trump, Congress to raise the gas tax to fund infrastructure
With President Trump and Congress turning their attention to infrastructure in the coming weeks, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is preparing for an uphill battle: a push to raise the federal gas tax by 25 cents per gallon to help pay for the initiative. The proposal, which will be formally introduced later this week, is part of a series of principles the nation's largest business lobby will offer in a bid to help shape the debate about upgrading U.S. roads, bridges, airports and other critical infrastructure. 

Check out the full article via Washington Post here.
Southwest Lightrail update
The Southwest LRT Project is currently in the Engineering phase of the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts funding process. All five cities along the proposed alignment and Hennepin County have approved preliminary design plans for Southwest LRT. In September, the Metropolitan Council rejected all four civil construction bids for being too high and having responsiveness issues. The Council then voted to direct project staff to look at ways to reduce costs and prepare to reissue the invitation for civil bids in October.  

Bids were due on Jan. 9. The Metropolitan Council anticipates awarding the civil or heavy construction contract in April and issuing a Limited Notice to Proceed in May. Construction is expected to start mid-2018. Due to the bid rejections in September, the schedule was revised. This resulted in an estimated four-month delay. Heavy construction is scheduled to take place between 2018 and 2022. The project will begin passenger service as an extension of the METRO Green Line in 2023. If you would like Commuter Services to send you updates on the Southwest LRT Project, please email Kate Meredith at and request to be added to the list.

Click here for more information.
New City of Minneapolis website
The City of Minneapolis is creating a new website and they want to hear from area residents. The City of Minneapolis is partnering with Clockwork, a local interactive design and technology agency, to execute a new public-facing website. The goal is to create a website accessible and useful to all City residents. Additional initiatives include better representing diversity and identity, and providing ADA-compliant accessibility. 

 In-person, group interviews are being coordinated and require 1.5 hours of time. The interviews will be scheduled at a centralized location in January. If interested, please contact Courtney Miner, Website Project Manager, Clockwork:
Development of Bloomington's last farm uncertain, but expected
The long and winding road didn't lead to the promised land, but the farm fields that were once envisioned as an international destination in 2023 are still likely to give rise to development in Bloomington's South Loop District. City Manager Jamie Verbrugge and Mayor Gene Winstead recently discussed the future of the property sometimes referred to as Spruce Shadows Farm, a property barely a stone's throw from Mall of America. The farm had been eyed as the site for an international expo until November, and city officials expect that it will one day host development. Although it's possible the farmland could be used for a major project that online retailer Amazon is planning, the mayor doesn't anticipate that will be the outcome.  

Read the full article from the Bloomington Sun Current here.
Transportation Impacts of Super Bowl
Tuesday, January 23 | Best Buy Corporate Campus | Register

Learn about road construction on I-35W from I-94 to Crosstown, changes to transit service during the 10 Days leading up to the big game and more! This is event is put on by Commuter Services.
The Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce believes healthy workers are essential to the bigger goal of improving workforce development. We need those we employ to remain productive, present and at their very best. Employers need to invest in their employees' health, encourage behavior change and create an environment conducive to overall wellness.

The Chamber has chosen to dedicate resources to workplace wellness through a new initiative called mspWellness. mspWellness provides technical assistance and the resources necessary for employers and employees to create a workplan for wellness through environmental and policy changes leading to healthier, happier and more productive workforce.

Click here for more information.