• Engage Leaders: CNBC Feature – New Model for Policing Lives in St. Cloud, MN COP House
  • Grow Business: SBA Restaurant Relief Fund
  • Expand Talent: Myth Busting Manufacturing Misconceptions
  • Shape Tomorrow: St. Cloud Shines Q1 2021 Takeaways
  • Insights and Inspirations: Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce – Webinar Opportunity


GSDC Business Development Director Larry Hosch moving on

Larry Hosch, who has served GSDC investors so well during the past four years as a Business Development Director, is leaving us in late May to become the Minnesota Department of Human Services’ Managing Director for Licensing.

There he will direct the team responsible for licensing the state’s childcare, mental health, foster care, children’s treatment, adult daycare, substance abuse and similar facilities, while leading the department’s policy, legislative and stakeholder engagement.

It’s a good fit for Larry, who was Mayor of St. Joseph from 2001-2005 and our 14B State Representative from 2005-2013. His new employer knows who it’s getting, too, since earlier in his career Larry worked for five years in a different DHS division.

“I’m proud of the work the GSDC does and I’ll miss interacting with our investors, board members and staff,” says Larry, who will continue to reside with his family in St. Joseph. “I’m going to stay involved with the GSDC, of course, but now as an investor.”

Business Development Director Leslie Dingmann will continue her great work while collaborating with Gail Cruikshank, Amelia Barkley and me – as well as with our board and committees –to keep the GSDC moving forward.

Congratulations, Larry, and thank you for your decades of service to our community!

~ Patti Gartland, GSDC President

Engage Leaders: CNBC Feature – New Model for Policing Lives in St. Cloud, MN COP House


On April 21, 2021, St. Cloud’s COP house was featured in a story on CNBC. Click on the image below to watch the feature and read more about the Greater St. Cloud Public Safety Foundation below.

The Greater St. Cloud Public Safety Foundation (GSCPSF) was established in 2015 to be the leading advocate of public safety, including police, fire, and emergency medical personnel, in a three-county area (i.e., Benton, Sherburne and Stearns).  Two local foundations, the Initiative Foundation, and the Central Minnesota Community Foundation, provided initial funding to cover start-up costs of the GSCPSF. A governance board was established with community volunteers who set about raising funds for the foundation’s first project, building a Community Outpost in a south St. Cloud neighborhood.

The St. Cloud Rotary Community Outpost is modeled after a similar community policing project in Racine, WI.  Rather than saturating a high crime area with officers reacting to incidents, the new approach locates a police department outpost in the heart of a troubled neighborhood. The purpose of the community-based outpost is to provide long-term stabilization to the neighborhood by building relationships with members of the community, improving the quality of life in the neighborhood, reducing crime, and empowering citizens to be personally engaged in their community.

The first lead matching gift obtained for the project was $75,000 from the St. Cloud Rotary Club.  This was leveraged to raise in-kind and cash donations totaling nearly $500,000, which were used to purchase the selected property and build the neighborhood facility.  Of note, the St. Cloud Rotary Club contributed a total of $125,000 to the project.  The Community Outpost was completed, staffed and functioning in August 2017.  In addition to providing community policing at the Outpost, the Stearns County departments of Public Health and Social Services lease space and provide services in the facility, as does CentraCare and Mayo Clinic Ambulance.

Currently, the police personnel who staff the Outpost provide the foundation board monthly updates on activities taking place and services provided at the facility. Partners include St. Cloud State University Criminal Justice Program, Arrive Ministry, Career Solutions, CentraCare, St. Cloud School District, Whitney Center, MN Legal Aid, Stearns County Human Services, The YES Network, Girl Scout Troop 114, St. Cloud Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program, Center for Victims of Torture, Children’s Dental Unit, Blue Cross MN, Stearns County Community Corrections, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Group, Stearns County Public Health Nurse, and Hands Across the World.

Of special note, the St. Cloud Police Department and the Greater St. Cloud Public Safety Foundation received the 2018 L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award from the US Department of Justice for their partnership to help turn a vacant building in a troubled neighborhood into a hub of health and activity.

In addition to the St. Cloud Rotary Community Outpost, other initiatives of the GSCPSF include a scholarship fund to support students who pursue careers in public safety fields, the Tri-County School Safe Pilot Project, an annual wellbeing conference for volunteer and career first responders and their families, and funding for personal protective equipment (PPE) for first responders in conjunction with CentraCare and regional police, fire and EMT agencies.

The St. Cloud Rotary Community Outpost recently received state and national visibility on KARE11, Land of 10,000 Stories by Boyd Huppert and The News with Shepard Smith on CNBC.

For more information visit www.gscsafety.org or contact Sonja Gidlow, GSCPSF Executive Director, sonja@sandhillcommunications.com or 320-290-7094.

Grow Business

SBA Restaurant Relief Fund

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, passed in March 2021, includes $28.6 billion funding for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF); $5 billion of this fund will be set aside for businesses with 2019 gross receipts of less than $500,000. The SBA will administer and disperse the RRF grants, but no launch date has been released. Click HERE for an overview of the program and application criteria.

It is strongly encouraged that restaurant owners be prepared to submit as soon as the application period is opened.  

If an established relationship with a SBA lender doesn’t exist, the following are SBA District Offices in Central MN that can answer general questions regarding the program and/or assistance preparing an application:



Expand Talent

Myth Busting Manufacturing Misconceptions

With the pandemic leading to several layoffs and adjustments to employment, an industry with huge opportunities which is often misunderstood is Manufacturing. Gail Cruikshank, GSDC Talent Director, recently joined Jay Caldwell on WJON’s Get A Job Segment to discuss Myth Busting Manufacturing Misconceptions.

Four common misconceptions of the manufacturing industry:

  • Myth 1: Manufacturing is not innovative.
  • Myth 2: There are no jobs in manufacturing.
  • Myth 3: Manufacturing is dirty and unsafe.
  • Myth 4: Automation is replacing workers

study from Deloitte revealed that:

  • Less than 5 in 10 Americans believe manufacturing jobs are rewarding, stable, safe or secure.
  • Only 3 in 10 would encourage their children to pursue a career in manufacturing.
  • Only 25% of parents surveyed feel that manufacturing is a well- paid profession.

The truth is the manufacturing industry is driven around innovation, while providing safe and clean environments, in one of the fastest growing sectors.

Today there are over 500 job opportunities within the 3 county area on www.greaterstcloudjobspot.com. Manufacturing offers career opportunities for every education level, ranging from skilled trades that require a high school diploma or GED, to engineers, designers, and programmers for bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Learn more by listening to this radio interview with Gail Cruikshank and Jay Caldwell: https://wjon.com/get-a-job-myths-about-manufacturing-podcast/

Gail Cruikshank, GSDC Talent Director, provides timely talent and recruitment topics on the 3rd Monday of each month at 8:15 a.m. on WJON’s Get A Job Segment.


Shape Tomorrow

St. Cloud Shines Q1 2021 Takeaways

The continued increase in awareness and interactions with the St. Cloud Shines campaign quarter over quarter is fantastic! I can already see how the strategy for 2021, which builds off the solid foundation of our social media campaign that introduced the brand with a more holistic inbound marketing approach, is going to even further impact both shaping a positive narrative of greater St. Cloud and drive even more traffic to StCloudShines.com.  I just shared the site with a new employee that will be joining our team from out of state, and he was so appreciative, “Thank you so much for the warm welcome and for the community resources! This will really help us out as we start planning the move.”

~ Lacey Schirmers, GREAT Theatre Managing Director, and GSDC Executive Volunteer & Champion for the St. Cloud Shines Regional Marketing Priorities

Insights and Inspirations

Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce – Webinar Opportunity

Minnesota Dual-Training Pipeline Half Day Webinar Event: Creating a diverse and inclusive workforce through employment-based training.

The Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Roslyn Robertson will offer a welcome message to kick-off the event and the webinar will be followed by hearing from the individuals listed below. You can register here for the webinar.

Tawanna Black, founder and CEO of the Center for Economic Inclusion, will deliver a keynote address about the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for company culture, recruitment and retention, as well as common steps to avoid when doing DEI work. The Center for Economic Inclusion is the nation’s first organization exclusively dedicated to advancing economic inclusion across all sectors in a major metropolitan area.

Allison Liuzzi, research manager at Wilder Foundation, will present data about workforce and education trends.

Malissa Adams, COO of Stanton-Adams, LLC, and a DEI expert with over 25 years of experience, will share how to assess and improve your company’s DEI efforts.

Jonathan Stuart, Fulbright scholar and business consultant with over 20 years of experience, and his partner, will share how to create successful on-the-job-training efforts that can also enhance your organization’s DEI efforts.

The Minnesota Dual-Training Pipeline staff is committed to advancing the work of diversity, equity and inclusion and looks forward to hosting this half-day event. We encourage you to sign up and join us.

Register Here!


Contact Our Staff Team

Patti Gartland, President
pgartland@greaterstcloud.com | 320-260-2442

Leslie Dingmann, Business Development Director
ldingmann@greaterstcloud.com | 320-493-9003

Larry Hosch, Business Development Director 
lhosch@greaterstcloud.com | 320-761-4570

Gail Cruikshank, Talent Director 
gcruikshank@greaterstcloud.com | 320-260-6775

Amelia Barkley, Communications & Program Specialist 
abarkley@greaterstcloud.com | 320-292-9296