• Greater St. Cloud featured on ‘Discover Minnesota with Roshini
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Employer Toolkit
  • Engage Leaders: Viking Coca-Cola Focuses on Community Wellbeing
  • Grow Business: Minnesota Adds 51,800 Jobs in January
  • Expand Talent: Good Jobs Now
  • Shape Tomorrow: United Way ‘Day of Action’
  • Insights and Inspirations: The Attrition and Retention of Women in Manufacturing
  • Staff News: Leslie Dingmann Becomes a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD)

Greater St. Cloud featured on ‘Discover Minnesota with Roshini’

Last week, WCCO Radio host Roshini Rajkumar interviewed the GSDC’s Patti Gartland for the “Discover Minnesota with Roshini” program that appears online. Click HERE to watch the seven-minute segment that highlights much about our Greater St. Cloud region. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?ref=search&v=278700793625896&external_log_id=25a70187-f6e5-440d-a952-72eeb0baf314&q=wcco%20radio

We encourage all to share this clip on their social media platforms and with their community. There is so much in this region to explore and enjoy!

This opportunity arose on short notice, but we were able to quickly pull together many excellent photos and videos for the show thanks to our area’s city government representatives, the St. Cloud Area Chamber and CVB. Special thanks to GSDC investor, Arvig, who sponsors “Discover Minnesota with Roshini” series and recommended our St. Cloud community for a virtual visit, and suggested Patti Gartland as the tour guide.

COVID-19 Vaccine Employer Toolkit

Check out the newly released COVID-19 Vaccine Employer Toolkit. This toolkit is designed to direct employers to the resources they need to help their workforce get vaccinated safely and efficiently and to provide materials to educate employees about COVID-19 vaccines.

Engage Leaders: Viking Coca-Cola Focuses on Community Wellbeing

If you are like most people in Central Minnesota you probably are not aware that many of the Coca-Cola products you enjoy every day are produced right here in St. Cloud, Minnesota by Viking Coca-Cola (VCC). Viking Coca-Cola is proud to be locally owned and operated by the Faber Family. One of the core principles at VCC is to protect our natural resources and improve the communities in which we operate. Viking Coca-Cola believes that we have a responsibility to respect and protect our water resources and because water is the main ingredient in all of the beverages produced at VCC, the proper conservation of this resource is central to the long-term success of our business and the health of our communities.

In 2014, Viking’s sustainability initiatives that reduce our corporate footprint impact identified a need to reduce our Carbonaceous Biochemical Oxygen Demand (cBOD) and Total Suspended Solids (TSS) strengths going to the City of St. Cloud water treatment facility. In VCC’s case, the cBOD being referred to is sugar. After researching several different control methods the decision was made to capture the high strength waste and then transfer it to St. Cloud’s waste water treatment facility to use in their new digesters. The City’s digesters produce electricity which in turn can be used to power the wastewater treatment facility.

Come the summer of 2015, ground was broken on an addition to VCC’s St. Cloud facility allowing the equipment that captures the high strength waste to be installed. At that time, all of the drains in VCC’s production facility were rerouted to the new addition and into a large sump pit, where a sensor reads the amount of sugar in the water. When the water meets the threshold for high strength waste it is diverted into one of three large holding tanks where it is stored until it is sent to the City’s wastewater facility.

By February of 2016, VCC was ready to start testing the new system. Partnering with the City of St. Cloud, an extensive trial-and-error effort was undertaken to find the optimal meter setting to capture the high strength waste. After the meter setting was agreed upon, the capture system was fully operational. Currently, the capture system that was installed in 2016 is diverting approximately 3,900 gallons of wastewater per week into the holding tanks.

Viking Coca-Cola continues to look for ways to reduce water usage and return clean water back to our communities. With new equipment and technology, VCC has several more water reducing projects scheduled for 2021.


Matt Keller, V.P. Operations, Viking Coca-Cola Bottling Company






Grow Business: Minnesota Adds 51,800 Jobs in January

“Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.5% in January, down from a revised 4.7% in December, according to numbers released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

Once again, the decline was due to people leaving the labor force from both employment and unemployment. The number of unemployed fell 7,652 and the number of employed fell 14,851 for a total decline of 22,503 in Minnesota’s labor force on a seasonally adjusted basis. The national unemployment rate fell to 6.3% in January from 6.7% in December.

The deepest impacts of the pandemic are felt by Minnesotans who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Based on 12-month moving averages, the unemployment rate for Black Minnesotans was 9.5% in January, up from 9.0% in December and up from 4.9% one year ago. The Latinx unemployment rate was 7.3% in January, the same as December and up from 4.9% one year ago. White Minnesotans were at 5.8% in January, 5.6% in December and 3.0% a year ago.

“The recovery of over 51,000 jobs in January is a promising sign for Minnesota,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “We have a lot of work ahead to grow our economy, and as this report shows, we must focus on those hit hardest by the pandemic – people of color, people with disabilities, lower wage workers, and small businesses.”

In addition, the labor force participation rate fell from 68.4% in December (revised) to 67.9% in January. Nationally, the labor force participation rate dropped one tenth of one percentage point to 61.4%.”

Read the full press release from DEED HERE.


Expand Talent: Good Jobs Now

The economy is changing, and Minnesota needs to proactively plan to meet future needs. If we do the right things, we can set Minnesota up to be a leading hub of the American recovery that lies ahead. To get there, we need to help more people consider new opportunities in the next chapter of Minnesota’s economy.

Please join us in helping Minnesotans find Good Jobs Now by going to and sharing this resource hub: CareerForceMN.com/GoodJobsNow.

Read more about DEED’s #GoodJobsNows campaign HERE.


Shape Tomorrow: United Way ‘Day of Action’

On Wednesday, March 3rd, United Way of Central Minnesota – Partner for Student Success supported a ‘Day of Action’ to support House File 156/Senate File 707 , a bill that will allow United Way of Central Minnesota – Partner for Student Success and the Education Partnerships Coalition (“EPC”) to continue its important cradle to career community-driven work and provide a deeper level of services while partnering with organizations, schools, businesses and families.

Our team, which was comprised of UW-PFSS staff, GSDC, Boys and Girls Club, School District Leadership, Avivo, City of Grace Learning Center and CentraCare met with Representative Dan Wolgamott, who is also chief author of the bill, Senator Aric Putnam, Representative Tim O’Driscoll, and Senator Jeff Howe. We were able to discuss the importance of this funding and how it affords us to work collectively and more collaboratively as a community across sectors while also leveraging and maximizing resources.

The GSDC is a proud partner of these efforts and provides contracted services for United Way Partner for Student Success Career and College Readiness.


Insights and Inspirations: Women’s History Month – The Attrition and Retention of Women in Manufacturing

Read the research and data behind Factory Flaw: The Attrition and Retention of Women in Manufacturing published by the American Association of University Women.

“The report, Factory Flaw: The Attrition and Retention of Women in Manufacturing, explores the challenges women face in male-dominated industries and the barriers that hinder their success. The report outlines how employers can build a more competitive workforce by addressing these longstanding issues and creating more pathways for women in the manufacturing fields.”

Read the entire article.


Staff News

Congratulations to Leslie Dingmann, GSDC Business Development Director, for passing the rigorous written and oral exams to become a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC)!