And Prosper Together

By Patti Gartland, GSDC President

Three simple words with profound and prophetic implications: And prosper together.

 When the GSDC’s vision statement adopted in 2011 was revisited this past year, consensus of the GSDC Board of Directors was quickly reached that it remains a good indication of what the GSDC strives to achieve for our region. But they also concluded that good doesn’t measure up to great. Once again, consensus was quickly reached that adding “and prosper together” moved the GSDC’s vision statement from good to great.

 Greater St. Cloud is a growing and vibrant community where talented people choose to live, work, engage and prosper together.

 So what’s on the horizon for 2019 for the GSDC that gives meaning to “and prosper together”? Lots!

·        The GSDC led Airport Optimization Planning Study completion sets the stage for strategies to grow air service and economic impact of STC airport. This study is funded by a $250,000 grant secured by the GSDC.

·        Opportunity Zones is a new federal tax deferral program for investors to direct capital gains to an Opportunity Fund for eligible projects in designated Opportunity Zones. GSDC assisted in efforts resulting in 3 zone designations in our region and will now work with partners to recruit and match investors with potential projects.

·        Bringing nationally ranked startup business accelerator services (gener8tor) to our region to expand the development of new businesses and entrepreneurialism.

·        Continue to assist the 91 business expansion project prospects in the GSDC’s Business Development Pipeline.

·        Successfully complete leading efforts to create a Downtown Improvement District (DID) to further revitalize downtown St. Cloud.

·        Connect businesses with financial resources to support training and expansion needs. Resource Procurement in 2018 resulted in 11 awards exceeding $2.4 million with 4 more awards in pursuit.

·        Launch a year-long Regional Digital Marketing & Placemaking Campaign to promote our region for talent and business attraction.

·        Grow traffic and content for the & JobSpot portals as the go-to sources for information, connections and job opportunities within our region.

·        Advancing multitudes of Talent Development, Retention and Recruitment initiatives that strengthen the interface between education, business and job seekers (current and future).

·        Support even more employers in creating a culture of well-being the in workplace with our Workplace Well-Being Initiative.

·        Continue to co-lead efforts for hosting the annual TEDx St. Cloud event.

·        Robustly celebrate the accomplishments of the GSDC since its founding in 2011 and opportunities that lie ahead with an Octennial Celebration event.

·        Continue to support the Community Pillars initiative and efforts to create and maintain a Community Dashboard for assessing progress and impact in our region.

 And prosper together. Let it be so.

Posted on December 20, 2018 .

Opportunity Zones: "The biggest tool for economic development in the history of the U.S.”

By Leslie Dingmann and Larry Hosch

“It’s a race, to maximize the tax incentives…Identify projects! Identify projects!”

Why all the excitement? Opportunity Zones, a product of the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, allow for preferential tax treatment related to capital gains.  Investors who deploy unrealized capital gains to designated opportunity zones can reduce their existing capital gains by 15 basis points and completely shield any future gains from taxes if invested for 10 years in a opportunity zone. St. Cloud is home to three designated Opportunity Zones including East St. Cloud, Downtown St. Cloud, and South St. Cloud.  These zones encompass the airport Industrial Park as well.

If you are an investor or have a project in mind that is within an Opportunity Zone in St. Cloud please, contact Leslie Dingmann or me at GSDC as soon as possible. This is TIME SENSITIVE as Opportunity Zone investments must be made by December, 2019. The benefits of this opportunity to you and our community are significant!

Op Zones Map.jpg

For more information contact us at GSDC: Leslie Dingmann at, 320-252-5247 or Larry Hosch at, 320-252-5185.

 Here is a link to a map identifying these St. Cloud Opportunity Zones:


Source for quotes is here:

Posted on December 18, 2018 .

Resources for Business Expansion and Training Abound

By Larry Hosch, GSDC Business Development Director

 If your business is planning an expansion, adding workers, or have workforce training needs, contact me at GSDC and we will help you access available resources to meet your project. Locally, 11 St. Cloud area businesses have leveraged more than $2.4 million in state and local resources for 2018.  If our regional employers don’t access these resources, others will, so contact me today to see what might be available to assist you in reaching your business goals for 2019.

 DAYTA Marketing and DeZURIK were recently awarded workforce training assistance from the state of Minnesota. DeZURIK has received a $96,000 PIPELINE grant from the Department of Labor and Industry and the Office of Higher Education.  The funds will provide tuition assistance for employees pursuing machining degrees with the St. Cloud Technical and Community College. The PIPELINE program offers grants up to $150,000 to manufacturing, agriculture, health care and information technology businesses.

 DAYTA Marketing received more than $42,000 via the Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP) through the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (MN DEED).  The JTIP program reimburses employers $1 for every 50 cents the business spends (up to $200,000) on direct training costs.  Eligible costs include trainee wages, curriculum development, training delivery, materials, equipment, travel and lodging.

 For more information about this tools and resources, contact me at or 320-252-5185.


Posted on December 18, 2018 .

An "EPIC" Career Exploration Event

Exploring Potential Interests and Careers (EPIC) is a hands on career exploration event taking place at St. Cloud Technical and Community College on February 22, 2019.

More than 2,500 students from 20 area schools will experience a high quality career exploration opportunity bridging education with industry, contributing to the fulfillment of the economic and workforce needs of our region.

This unique format provides students hands on, interactive experiences that simulate the activities of a variety of careers. They will also receive information about the educational requirements and resources for those careers.

EPIC is organized by a collective group of partners including Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation, St. Cloud Technical and Community College, St. Cloud State University, Rasmussen College, Partner For Student Success, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement, Central Minnesota Manufacturing Association, MN Department of Employment and Economic Development  and Career Solutions.

EPIC logo - reduced.jpg

For more information about this event contact Gail Cruikshank at or 320-257-4753.

Posted on December 18, 2018 .

Learn About the Employment Capacity Building Co-hort Workforce Solution

By Gail Cruikshank, GSDC Talent Director

At GSDC we are proud to support the Employment Capacity Building Cohort (St. Cloud ISD742) and WACOSA in helping prepare students and community members with disabilities for gainful employment in our community.

 A growing and thriving community considers all of its potential workforce – including often untapped community members who are eager and willing to be employed.

 This video showcases many of the partners in our greater St. Cloud region working together to engage workers with disabilities:


 For more information about how this program will benefit your company, contact me at or 320-257-4753.

Posted on December 18, 2018 .

WELCOA Offers 1-Day Workshop in St. Cloud for 7-Benchmarks Certification

We are excited to announce that  WELCOA (Wellness Council of America) will be in St. Cloud conducting a one-day session on their "7-Benchmarks of America's Healthiest Companies/Beginner Series" on January 30, 2019.  The benefits of attending this session include:

  • Access to the most current, best-in-class 7-Benchmarks curriculum available

  • Certification in the 7-Benchmarks/Beginner course upon completion

  • Opportunity to network with other well-being professionals

  • Earn CEUs from Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

  • Complimentary annual WELCOA membership for 2019

 The certification provides all the information and tools needed to create and implement a highly effective, sustainable well-being program in your workplace.  We believe so strongly in the certification that we make this foundational training accessible and affordable for organizations of all sizes and across all sectors in Greater St. Cloud.

Wednesday, January 30
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
(lunch provided)
Kelly Inn
100 4th Ave S, St Cloud, MN 56301

There is no cost to attend this one-day session but seats are limited to 25 and registration is necessary using this link (first come/first served): 


Please contact me with any questions or assistance needed.  We look forward to having you join us on January 30!  

Sonja Gidlow,  Ed.D
Director of Strategic Initiatives and Communication
320-252-5203 Direct
Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation
501 W. St. Germain Street, Suite 100
St. Cloud, MN 56301
320-259-0300 Main

Posted on December 18, 2018 .

Skilled Workers Initiative to Expand in 2019

In 2018, under the leadership of Joan Schatz, Co-President of Park Industries and founding GSDC invesor, the Talent Corps focused on engaging in activities that increase awareness of skilled careers in our region and created the Skilled Worker Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to educate the future workforce on careers that require a two year degree or less, highlighting career path opportunities and potential careers in these fields. Last January, Park Industries hosted more than 40 Career and Technology Ed (CTE) teachers and Counselors from St. Cloud ISD 742 for a professional development day.  They received an on-site introduction to careers at Park Industries (engineering and manufacturing), W Gohman Construction (construction project currently underway at Park Industries) and Brenny Transportation (primary transportation vendor for Park Industries). The event showcased each of the three industries and concluded with a panel of employees highlighting their career path and educational path needed to achieve their role. This tour was duplicated in May with 26 students from ISD 742 attending.

Joan Schatz, Co-President of Park Industries, speaks to CTE teachers and Counselors from St. Cloud ISD 742

Joan Schatz, Co-President of Park Industries, speaks to CTE teachers and Counselors from St. Cloud ISD 742

Beginning in 2019, founding GSDC investor Mike Gohman, President of W Gohman Construction, will take over leading this initiative. The focus will continue on construction, transportation and manufacturing careers with emphasis in automation.  If you are an employer in these selected industries who would be willing to host a tour and/or engage with students in the classroom setting or would  like to learn more about the Skilled Workers Initiative, please contact Gail Cruikshank, Talent Director.

Posted on December 18, 2018 .

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

By Brian Myres, GSDC Board Chair

 I want to use this year-end opportunity to thank our GSDC investors and partners for your ongoing support of our collective work to improve the economic environment for our businesses and greater community.

 Our accomplishments have been many. Since our inception in 2011, GDP has risen 16.3%, there’s been an increase of more than 12,500 jobs and wages have increased more than 20% – all right here in Greater St. Cloud, where we are outpacing the state and nation.  At GSDC we certainly can’t take credit for all this great news, but it’s also not just a coincidence. We’re out there every day working with you to improve the regional economy and the quality of life of our communities.

 In the past 12 months alone, we met with more than 90 local businesses about retention and expansion, launched a regional portal to support talent retention and attraction, and invested resources of time and energy in a regional skilled workers initiative. 

 In 2018 the GSDC Board of Directors refined our structure and priorities to serve you even more powerfully. That included identifying these four strategic imperatives, which investors strongly affirmed in April:  Engage Leaders, Expand Talent, Grow Business and Shape Tomorrow.  You will be hearing more about our strategic imperatives in the months to come, but in summary, here’s what they will mean for our community:

 Engage Leaders

We bring community leaders together so that your combined thinking and resources have a greater impact on our region’s success than would a few people acting alone.

 Expand Talent

We invest heavily in retaining and attracting skilled, innovative and diverse people, to support business retention, growth and attraction.

 Grow Business

We create economic development strategies, harness resources and provide tactical assistance to help start, retain and expand strong businesses.

 Shape Tomorrow

We invest in our region’s many strengths and help enhance its wellness, inclusivity, environmental stewardship and more, creating a healthier and brighter future for you and your employees.                                           

No individual company or organization has the resources, expertise or contacts to do these things on their own. That’s why we’re here. The GSDC works for you.  

We’re excited to leverage this momentum in 2019 and beyond.  I welcome any and all inquiries about how you and your company can join us in this important work through investment and engagement. 

Finally, wishing you a blessed holiday season and prosperous New Year!

 Brian Myres   

GSDC Board Chair

(320) 260-6681

Posted on December 18, 2018 .