Back in September DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy facilitated a forum in Fergus Falls to find out some of west central Minnesota's most pressing issues about economic development.
Today, he returned to present findings from his September visit and to outline how Governor Tim Pawlenty's Strategic Entrepreneurial Economic Development (SEED) program could help the region.
There's a lot to be said about living and working here, the forum participants pointed out: outdoor attractions, clean air, low crime, short commutes and urban amenities. Still, businesses indicated a great need for skilled workers. Communities wanted more support for entrepreneurship and small business development, as well as more state, regional and local investment in infrastructure of all types. Participants also called for more two-way collaboration between education and employers, from K-12 through higher education.
McElroy then outlined how SEED would benefit Greater Minnesota and the proposed funding. Take a look:
Developing and Growing Entrepreneurs
New Capital for Rural Businesses
Sustained Competitive Advantage for Rural Minnesota