Waseca bouncing back from plant closure

WASECA (AP) — When Quad Graphics, formerly Brown Printing, closed at the end of 2017, it left about 400 employees out of work and dealt a blow to the city of 9,000, which counted the printing company as its largest employer.

But what could have been a dire blow to the community today appears more hopeful as other manufacturers are starting to repopulate that massive facility and as the city has secured a large federal economic grant to help spur business growth.

“It’s definitely an exciting time with the things happening at Quad and elsewhere in Waseca,” sad Gary Sandholm, the city’s economic development coordinator. “We’re guardedly optimistic about things.”

The city was recently awarded nearly $600,000 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Nearly $400,000 of that is to hire a coordinator for three years who would work exclusively on recruiting companies to move to or expand in Waseca.

“We’re looking for someone who has connections with people who are fairly high up in various companies or industries. Someone who has relationships with the decision makers,” Sandholm said.

He said the person, who they hope to have on board by late winter or early spring, would seek companies from out of state to come to Waseca or businesses in Minnesota that are looking to expand to another location.

The rest of the grant will go toward a study to determine the viability of a new Waseca area manufacturing resource center.

Sandholm said that project will be done by the Region Nine Development Commission, which a couple of years ago began looking at regional centers to assist either specific industries or all manufacturers in the nine-county area.

Read the full Sentinel article.

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation seeking applications for Prosperity Initiative

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), in partnership with Region Nine Development Commission and Faribault Diversity Coalition, is recruiting minority-owned business owners for a new cohort of its Prosperity Initiative.

SMIF is seeking 15 businesses to participate in a 2020 Prosperity Initiative cohort. Past Prosperity Initiative graduates are also encouraged to apply to be part of this program again and take their business to a new level.

The program provides directed, culturally sensitive programming, while also creating a unified and coordinated resource structure, informing partners of best practices and creating opportunities for minority populations to network and access the business community.

All resources are free for participating businesses. Eligible participants include minorities, women, veterans, persons with disabilities and/or low-income business owners in SMIF’s 20-county region.

SMIF will be hosting a business plan workshop from noon to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, to help individuals create a business plan for their company.

Those interested in the Prosperity Initiative are encouraged to attend so that you have a well-developed business plan to include in your application. RSVP to Jennifer Heien, Grants Coordinator, at jenniferh@smifoundation.org or 507-214-7040 by Monday, Jan. 13.

The Prosperity Initiative is made possible by generous funding from Wells Fargo and Dan and Angie Bastian.

 Apply to the Prosperity Initiative 2020 cohort at smifoundation.org/prosperity by Wednesday, Jan. 29. Contact Pam Bishop, Vice President of Economic Development at SMIF, at pamb@smifoundation.org or 507-214-7013 with questions.

View the Faribault.com article.

Waseca making progress year after Quad plant closing

WASECA, Minn. — When Quad Graphics, formerly Brown Printing, closed at the end of 2017, it left about 400 employees out of work and dealt a blow to the city of 9,000, which counted the printing company as its largest employer.

But what could have been a dire blow to the community today appears more hopeful as other manufacturers are starting to repopulate that massive facility and as the city has secured a large federal economic grant to help spur business growth.

“It’s definitely an exciting time with the things happening at Quad and elsewhere in Waseca,” sad Gary Sandholm, the city’s economic development coordinator. “We’re guardedly optimistic about things. I think 2020 should be an interesting and fun year.”

The city was recently awarded nearly $600,000 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Nearly $400,000 of that is to hire a coordinator for three years who would work exclusively on recruiting companies to move to or expand in Waseca, the Mankato Free Press reported.

“We’re looking for someone who has connections with people who are fairly high up in various companies or industries. Someone who has relationships with the decision makers,” Sandholm said.

“It’s a unique position — it’s not everyone who’s going to be qualified to handle it. It could be a great capstone for someone’s career. It’s probably not for someone just coming out of school.”

He said the person, who they hope to have on board by late winter or early spring, would seek companies from out of state to come to Waseca or businesses in Minnesota that are looking to expand to another location. Sandholm said they would not seek companies already in the state to relocate to Waseca.

The rest of the grant will go toward a study to determine the viability of a new Waseca area manufacturing resource center.

Read the full Star Tribune article.

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Announces $600,000 to Bolster Jobs, Economy in Waseca

Federal Funding Will Help Create 248 Jobs and Save 600 Jobs in Waseca County

WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/13/2019]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) announced that the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is investing nearly $600,000 in two projects to strengthen Waseca’s regional economy, establish a resilient workforce, and create jobs. 

The EDA is investing $395,820 to hire an economic recovery coordinator to create a three-year strategic plan that will help economic recovery efforts from the impact of Quad/Graphics’ closure in 2017. The EDA is also investing $203,754 to fund a study to help Region Nine Development Commission determine the viability of a new Waseca Area Manufacturing Resource Center. Together, these two projects are anticipated to create 248 jobs and save 600 jobs.

“I feel so inspired by the spirit, resilience and ingenuity of people I’ve met in small towns and communities across Minnesota during my rural economy tour,” said Sen. Smith. “But at the same time I recognize that many areas are facing economic hardship, where folks feel like they’re hanging on by their financial fingertips as they struggle to get by. These EDA grants will provide Waseca with the resources they need to take a step back, assess where they’re at, and determine what they can do to restore economic prosperity. We must do everything we can to create economic opportunity for everyone.”

You can read full descriptions of the grants here.

EDA grants are awarded through a competitive process based upon the application’s merit, the applicant’s eligibility, and the availability of funds. You can access more information on EDA’s grant process and investment process can be found at www.eda.gov.

Waseca To Receive Funding From US Economic Development Administration

Economic development efforts in Waseca have received a boost from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Federal official say the EDA will fund a nearly 396-thousand dollar grant to hire an economic recovery coordinator. The money will be earmarked to create a strategic plan that will help economic recovery efforts from the impact of the Quad/Graphics closure in 2017. The EDA says will it also invest nearly 204-thousand dollars in grant money to help fund a study. Federal officials say the study will help Region Nine Development Commission determine the viability of a new Waseca Area Manufacturing Resources Center.

View the KTOE article.

Waseca making progress a year after loss of Quad Printing

WASECA — When Quad Graphics, formerly Brown Printing, closed at the

end of 2017, it left about 400 employees out of

work and dealt a blow to the city of 9,000, which counted the printing company as its largest employer.

 

But what could have been a dire blow to the community today appears more hopeful as other manufacturers are starting to repopulate that massive facility and as the city has secured a large federal economic grant to help spur business growth.

“It’s definitely an exciting time with the things happening at Quad and elsewhere in Waseca,” sad Gary Sandholm, the city’s economic development coordinator. “We’re guardedly optimistic about things. I think 2020 should be an interesting and fun year.”

The city was recently awarded nearly $600,000 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Nearly $400,000 of that is to hire a coordinator for three years who would work exclusively on recruiting companies to move to or expand in Waseca.

“We’re looking for someone who has connections with people who are fairly high up in various companies or industries. Someone who has relationships with the decision makers,” Sandholm said.

“It’s a unique position — it’s not everyone who’s going to be qualified to handle it. It could be a great capstone for someone’s career. It’s probably not for someone just coming out of school.”

He said the person, who they hope to have on board by late winter or early spring, would seek companies from out of state to come to Waseca or businesses in Minnesota that are looking to expand to another location. Sandholm said they would not seek companies already in the state to relocate to Waseca.

The rest of the grant will go toward a study to determine the viability of a new Waseca area manufacturing resource center.

Sandholm said that project will be done by the Region Nine Development Commission, which a couple of years ago began looking at regional centers to assist either specific industries or all manufacturers in the nine-county area.

Read the full Free Press article.

December E-Newsletter

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2019 Impact Award

Region Nine Development Commission has received a 2019 Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Award from the National Association of Development Organizations for MedTech Connect.

MedTech Connect was motivated by the need to develop a conceptual framework that inventories and supports medical manufacturing activities in South Central Minnesota. The plan examines how and how well manufacturing and related industries leverage their geographic proximity to the medical manufacturing hub in the Twin Cities and innovations at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Results from this report indicate that South Central Minnesota is poised for growth in the medical manufacturing sector and has led to RNDC applying and being awarded a grant from the Economic Development Administration to conduct a feasibility study for a Manufacturing Resource Center in Waseca.

NADO is a membership association of regional development organizations that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies.

The association’s Impact Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities.

Free Press, Names and Notables

November E-Newsletter

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Region 9 Recently Honored By A National Organization

The Region Nine Development Commission was recently recognized by the National Association of Development Organizations. Nicole Griensewic Mickelson is the executive director of Region Nine says they receive the 2019 Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Award.

“It was for our Medtech connect plan,” said Griensewic Mickelson. “It looked at all of the medical supply chains throughout south-central Minnesota. We were able to talk to all sorts of business owners to advance this manufacturing field.”

Region Nine representatives say the plan examines how and how well manufacturing and related industries leverage their geographic proximity to the medical manufacturing hub of the Twin Cities and innovations at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

KTOE