LOOKING BACK ON A BUSY 2021
Despite the continuing pandemic related challenges, our region has much to celebrate and to give thanks for. A few that come to mind for us include:
- We’re thankful for vaccines and health care providers and all the sacrifices they have made to get us all through this pandemic.
- We’re thankful that we were again able to assist hundreds of businesses in our region in tackling COVID-19 business challenges.
- We relished the opportunity to celebrate the GSDC’s 10-year anniversary in partnership with founding investor member Coborn’s who celebrated their 100-year anniversary.
- We celebrate the collaboration and support of numerous partners in attracting AWG, a major warehouse facility to our region, creating 400 quality jobs and enhancing the food industry supply chain that we all benefit from.
- We celebrate being able to assist more than 100 entrepreneurs and business startups with programming offered through ILT Academy and the gBETA Greater Minnesota St. Cloud programs.
- We celebrate the growth & expansion of StCloudShines.com as the most expansive marketing tool the region has ever had to showcase the greatness of our people, places and opportunity and the three-fold increase in viewership to job opportunities in our region in the past year!
- We celebrate the tremendous progress made through GSDC’s leadership and investment in creation of a regional airport authority to govern the St. Cloud Regional Airport and optimize its economic potential in our region.
- We’re thankful for the job/career development opportunities and partnerships with education, students, families and the business community.
- We’re thankful for the engagement of industry experts and thought leaders with the GSDC in identifying needs and opportunities in our region as we strive to position our region for its best future for all coming out of the pandemic.
We’re thankful for all our collaborators from business, education, non-profit and local and state government that have worked hard to make the region shine.
- We’re thankful for you! Bringing community leaders together so that their combined thinking and resources have a much greater impact on our region’s success than would be possible with only a few people acting alone is what we’re all about at the GSDC.
We wish you abundant happiness and good health as you celebrate the close of 2021 and welcome in the New Year with a grateful heart and a spirit of unity.
Brian Myres, GSDC Board Chair Patti Gartland, GSDC President
MEETINGS WITH SITE SELECTORS GUILD BENEFITTED REGION
Throughout 2021, GSDC has had the opportunity to participate in the Site Sector Guild Virtual Table Talk sessions on three occasions as part of the MN Marketing Partnerships (MMP) delegation (representing West Central MN). The MMP is made up of state, regional and local economic development organizations, utilities, and other partners who come together to promote Minnesota through one coordinated brand and point of contact for site selectors, corporate real estate professionals and others interested in starting or expanding their business in the state. This public-private partnership works together to develop broad-based marketing initiatives to promote Minnesota and its business economy across the country and the world.
Over the course of the year, GSDC was part of this small but influential delegation who met with 21 national site selectors to promote the State and its regional assets and strengths for direct business investment. The delegation was able to gain industry intelligence from the site consultants.
Key takeaways and recommendations heard from site selectors:
- More important than ever, site and facility readiness are looked at as a key “incentive” a community can offer in terms of business attraction / relocation. Projects are being completed in record time (<less than 6 months). Site selectors narrow down their top recommendations to communities that have land or facilities that are “shovel ready”.
- EDO websites need to be current and relevant. Something we already know but continues to be expressed is the importance of EDO’s website that describes a region’s demographics, quality of life, industry clusters and real estate availability in a visually friendly and interactive way. The website is the first impression a site selector gets of your region and is reviewed before direct outreach takes place. This insight affirms the priority investment the GSDC is making in our wide-reaching (+158 million impressions to date) social media marketing campaign (#StCloudShines) and our complementary community website and jobs portal www.StCloudShines.com.
- Complete and timely responses to site sectors Request for Proposals (RFP’s) is expected. A site selector will often disregard an EDO’s RFP that is not complete but also if it includes “fluff”. Given tight timelines of projects and the need for quick assessments, it is important to share only the information that is requested. As part of GSDC’s business attraction strategy, when a business attraction/ relocation opportunity appears it will be a good fit for our region, we are able to quickly convene our partners to compile the information requested within timelines shared. In 2021, GSDC facilitated eight business attraction inquires and continues to monitor five active attraction inquires.
ITILITI HEALTH RAISES $2 MILLION FOR EXPANSION
We extend a big congratulations to gBETA Greater St. Cloud MN graduate, Itiliti Health (Spring 2021 cohort), for raising $2 million in seed funding to expand its software platform. Itiliti Health “accelerates communication between payers and providers so the right medical policies are applied, and the right procedures are authorized quickly, securely and cost-effectively.” Read the full article and learn more about Itiliti Health: https://itilitihealth.com/
MEET KATHERINE SEE: GSDC’S NEW INTERN
Katherine See is a fourth-year student at St. Cloud State University studying Planning and Community Development with a minor in Human Relations. Her favorite topics to study are historic preservation, social equity, and local development. While originally from California, Katherine has lived in the St. Cloud area for over twenty years. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, doing craft projects, and exploring the outdoor spaces the greater St. Cloud area has to offer such as Munsinger Gardens, St. John’s Arboretum, and Bob Cross Nature Preserve.
DISTRICT 742 LAUNCHES CAREER AND COLLEGE ACADEMIES
The new Career and College Academies program is designed to introduce students to a wide selection of career fields. Gail Cruikshank, GSDC Talent Director, was part of the creation of this program within district 742. “Students participating in the academies will be able to practice job skills to help them identify what they enjoy and what they excel at. In a sense, they can try a job on for size.” GSDC continues to connect local employers to our region’s education partners to ensure students are prepared and ready for careers within the St. Cloud community.
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