• Engage Leaders: Sansdemic – Observations from Dr. Ken Holmen, CentraCare CEO and President
  • Grow Business: gBETA Greater MN Fall 2021 Applications Now Open!
  • Expand Talent: Tips to Secure Jobseekers Returning to the Workforce from Pandemic Sidelines
  • Shape Tomorrow:
    • Companies Collaborate to Add More Festoon Lights to Downtown St. Cloud
    • CentraCare’s 10th Annual Diversity Conference
  • Insights and Inspirations: The Best Time Management Advice is Depressing but Liberating

Engage Leaders: Sansdemic – Observations from Dr. Ken Holmen, CentraCare CEO and President

As leaders, our “plates” have been very full this past year – and indeed a remarkable period full of challenges.  As we emerge from the pandemic, workforce shortages are a ubiquitous concern both short term and long term.  Many times, we, as leaders, are looking for “solutions” that are within our grasp or have “opinions” on why this workforce issue exists. Over the last months, I have read many articles and I thought I would share some thoughts with you that have coalesced and resonated with me (and perhaps with you).

In summary – it is complicated, and a “solution” will take leadership across many sectors, and “opinions” based on ideology will create more challenges.

“Sansdemic”:  Sans (without) demic (people)

Many writers/experts are using the above term to describe our current and emerging challenge – a Sansdemic.  Google the word – and start reading the plethora of articles about it. See the full article here.

My takeaways include the following observations and or causative factors,

  • The birthrate in America is falling. It is below replacement levels and the lowest in many decades. No babies, no kids, no adults, no workers.
  • An aging America. There are now more Americans over 65 years of age, than under 18. (And in healthcare that is a concern as an aging population utilizes more services, and there are fewer workers).
  • Shifts in attitude about work including; work/life balance, longevity in a job, virtual options, job sharing, affordable and quality childcare; changing roles of men/women/parenting; diversity in the workplace etc.
  • A controversial and temporizing immigration policy that changes.  Immigrants have been valuable additions to the workforce, generally start at the lower end of the wage pool, generally have more kids, and have energy for upward mobility.
  • A tax policy which is an ideological war ground and is perpetuating the income gap.
  • A flight of folks (especially the younger generation) from more rural areas to urban areas – exacerbating a rural demographic that is shrinking, and aging.
  • An educational model that is challenged from a cost perspective, decreasing enrollment, virtual options, and urban centered. How do we educate our kids, starting early on?
  • Economic stress at the state and federal level in a climate of political stalemate.
  • Lack of a cohesive strategy (primarily political, economic and ideological) that can be a unifying and galvanizing movement to change.
  • All in a world that is increasingly diverse and changing.

My comments are not a solution, or an opinion.  It is a recitation of observations. The question for all of us – what are you going to do, and what are we going to do – will be a fundamental question of accountability, for all of us.

Dr. Ken Holmen

CentraCare CEO and President

Grow Business

gBETA Greater MN Fall 2021 Applications Now Open!

Applications for the Fall 2021 gBETA Greater MN St. Cloud cohort is due September 12, @ 11:59 PM CT.

gBETA is a free, seven-week accelerator for early-stage companies with local roots. Each program is capped at five teams, and requires no fees and no equity.
The program dates for the Fall 2021 cohort are October 18 – December 10.

Questions? Contact Joe Sullivan, gBETA Greater MN St. Cloud Director.

Thank you to our gBETA funding partners!


Expand Talent

Tips to Secure Jobseekers Returning to the Workforce from Pandemic Sidelines

With the end to additional unemployment benefits ending on Sept 6th, more job seekers will be looking for employment. To ensure your jobs are seen and you are offering the salary competitive within your industry, we share two recruitment tips below.

Are your job postings visible on JobSpot?

Be sure to check your company’s JobSpot listings, to ensure your jobs are posted. Even though JobSpot uses “scraping” technology to automatically pull thousands of job listings from employer websites and aggregate job boards, it’s still a good idea to check your information. Contact Gail Cruikshank for questions/assistance.

Are you offering competitive wages within your industry?

Know your industry’s wage scale, as it may have increased in the past year. You don’t want people bypassing your company’s opportunities because the pay is no longer competitive. Contact, GSDC Business Development Director, Leslie Dingmann to provide current data.

GSDC is here to help your business succeed, now and into the future. Please let us know if there are any challenges with which we can assist you.



Shape Tomorrow

Companies Collaborate to Add More Festoon Lights to Downtown St. Cloud

A group of Central Minnesota businesses are working together to bring light, hope and community.

Local businesses, community organizations and the City of St. Cloud  have come together to install the next addition of twinkling festoon lights in downtown St. Cloud between the 600 and 900 blocks of W. St. Germain. The lights and installation are made possible by a donation from Blattner Company and in-kind from Batteries Plus Bulbs, BCI Construction, Design Electric, Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation, Inventure Properties and Moss & Barnett.

The first round of festoon lights were installed over 5th Avenue in 2018, and that project has sparked conversations with visitors of downtown, attracted attention from other cities and contributed to the positive momentum and energy in downtown St. Cloud. The group is planning to flip the switch on this exciting addition to downtown at 7:25 pm on Thursday evening, August 26th, to coincide with the 100 year anniversary celebration of the Paramount Center for the Arts.

Photos by BadCat Digital Marketing



CentraCare’s 10th Annual Diversity Conference

Register now for CentraCare’s Diversity Conference – Including Diversity & Equity: From Talk to Collective Action – on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 from 7:30 am – 12 pm.

  • Attendees will learn “people first” language practices that uphold dignity and reduce stigma of those experiencing poverty and/or homelessness.
  • Attendees will learn to recognize hidden strengths, talents, resiliencies, and survival skills in people from generational poverty, situational poverty, working-class poverty and immigrant poverty.
  • By creating workplaces of equity, inclusion, and belonging, employers play a tremendous lead role in unlocking the full potential of an inclusive economy. The skilled workforce of tomorrow needs solutions now to attract and retain diverse talent. By embedding principles of antiracism in day-to-day actions and measuring and scaling the results, employers will create a workplace where every employee thrives.

This conference is designed for business, education, government, healthcare and other professionals who are interested in improving the experience for their customers, patients and clients; and growing a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Register today!


Insights & Inspirations

The Best Time Management Advice is Depressing but Liberating

This article by Joe Pinsker from The Atlantic is a refreshing perspective of the never-ending to-do list everyone has. Take a read and remember “A life spent chasing the mythical state of being able to do everything is less meaningful than a life of focusing on a few things that count”.





Contact Our Staff Team

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

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

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

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