• Engage Leaders: Message from Dr. Richard Lee, Executive Director, Central MN Mental Health Center
  • Grow Business:
    • Dubow Textiles Continues to Expand
    • Blattner Energy Reaches Historic Achievement
  • Expand Talent: Posting Jobs on Greater St. Cloud JobSpot
  • Shape Tomorrow:
    • gBETA Greater St. Cloud 2021 Spring Cohort – Featuring Impacks
    • Initiators Fellowship – Apply Today!
  • Insights and Inspirations: Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month



Engage Leaders: Mental Health Awareness Month – Message from Dr. Richard Lee, Executive Director, Central MN Mental Health Center

The past year has been rough on all of us, and we have learned a lot.  While the list of learnings is long, as part of May is Mental Health Awareness Month, here I will emphasize one:  the crucial role of mental health in the overall health of individuals, families, communities, and workplaces.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is the number one cause of workplace absenteeism (this was true before the pandemic).  Even as a mental health professional who has long believed the importance of mental health was underappreciated, when I first heard that statistic several years ago, I was surprised.

People do not ordinarily call in sick and say they are going to stay home because they are depressed or slept poorly or because they are strongly affected by traumatic community events; more likely, they cite some other reason.  Why?  Well, stigma for sure, but perhaps as employers we insufficiently consider that taking a mental health day is a legitimate reason for using paid time off or just calling off for the day.

I advocate strongly here that we should not only consider self-care days as legitimate uses of PTO, but we should also encourage it.  It is good business, and it’s the right thing to do.

Mental and emotional wellness is foundational to wellness in general; mental health provider agencies like Central Minnesota Mental Health Center have known this for a long time, and the struggles the pandemic has brought to all of us has illuminated this fact more broadly.  The Make It OK campaign (https://makeitok.org/) is a great resource for anyone looking to find ways to talk to each other more effectively about mental illness.  All of us – ALL OF US – intersect with mental illness in our lives; it is pervasive.

I hope for the day when we can all feel comfortable talking about mental illness and how it affects us and our loved ones.  Only by “making it OK” will people who need support and treatment reliably get it.  Lives literally depend on it.

Richard G. Lee, Ph.D., L.P.

Executive Director

Central Minnesota Mental Health Center

Grow Business

Dubow Textiles Continues to Expand

One of GSDC’s primary focus in business development is actively addressing the needs of our region’s primary sector businesses.  Through our active business retention and expansion program, we’ve established relationships with business leaders and are a trusted resource that is turned to when expansion opportunities are presented.  By way of example, we have had the pleasure of assisting Dubow Textiles and Blattner Energy on their recent expansions and congratulate them on their success!

Dubow Textile, headquartered in St. Cloud, is a wholesale manufacturer and textile company that is an industry leader in screen printing, embroidering, laser etching, applique, and digital printing. Read more about their substantial growth in the recent St. Cloud Times article HERE.

Blattner Energy Reaches Historic Achievement

Congratulations to GSDC Investor Blattner Energy, the nation’s leading installer and contractor of utility scale renewable energy, for achieving 50,000 renewable energy megawatts. This is an impressive achievement that provides clean energy to the equivalent of 14 million homes. In 2020, Blattner Energy expanded their Headquarters in Avon by over 72,000 Square Feet allowing for the addition of over 100 local, good paying jobs. The contractor for this expansion was led by another GSDC Investor, W. Gohman Construction. GSDC has had the pleasure assisting Blattner Energy in this expansion by assisting in securing a Job Creation Fund award from DEED.

For more information on this achievement, click HERE.


Expand Talent

Posting Jobs on Greater St. Cloud JobSpot

GreaterStCloudJobSpot is our community talent portal showcasing open jobs from our three-county service area of Stearns, Benton, and Sherburne. Although the numbers vary from day to day, typically 6,000-7,000 jobs are visible on the site every day.

People may wonder:

  • How can my company jobs be posted to the site?
  • How much does it cost to post jobs on JobSpot?
  • Where are jobs pulled from?

Greater St. Cloud Jobspot

Thanks to technology, you no longer need to manually post your openings directly on JobSpot.  The JobSpot website scrapes all jobs from most external career boards or company websites daily, pulling them up or down in coordination to your posting activity at no cost to you.

If your electronically posted positions within our three-county service area are not showing on our site, contact Gail Cruikshank, GSDC Talent Director, at gcruikshank@greaterstcloud.com or 320-260-6775.

You can learn more about additional posting questions along with other job search resources here.

In addition to highlighting your open jobs on GreaterStCloudJobSpot, remember to use our community portal, St. Cloud Shines, to display all the amenities the Greater St. Cloud area has to offer for potential relocating candidates or those right here in our community. Helpful information includes things to do, education opportunities, housing, health and wellness, and more. We encourage you to highlight St. Cloud Shines on your company website as a recruitment and retention tool. This portal was created for YOU, our employers and partners, to highlight why Greater St. Cloud is the perfect place to live, work and engage.


Shape Tomorrow

gBETA Greater St. Cloud Spring 2021 Cohort and Feature on Impacks

Top-ranked startup accelerator gener8tor announced the participants selected for its gBETA Greater MN St. Cloud Spring 2021 cohort and welcomed a new Program Director to the program. The six startups are all local to Minnesota and range from cricket based- food products to health insurance technology.

GSDC worked with entrepreneurial champions Ryan Weber of Great North Ventures and Shannon Wiger of Moss & Barnet to bring gBETA to the St. Cloud region. By organizing 19 sponsors from a broad cross section of regional business leaders we were able to be the first Greater Minnesota community to bring a nationally ranked accelerator to the area. GBETA sponsors include, Centra Care, Great North Ventures, Greater St. Cloud Development Corp., Granite Logistics, Central McGowan, Granite Equity Partners, Kensington Bank, Microbiologics, Moss & Barnette, PCI, College of St. Benedict St. John’s University, Schlenner Wenner & Co., St. Cloud Technical and Community College, Park Industries, Xcel Energy Foundation, St. Cloud State University, DeZurick Apco Hilton and GeoComm.

gBETA Greater MN St. Cloud is a free, seven-week accelerator that works with startups for no fees and no equity. Each cohort is kept small, to ensure meaningful engagement with the

gener8tor team, network partners and other resources. Participants receive intensive and individualized coaching and access to gener8tor’s national network of mentors, customers, corporate partners and investors. The program is designed to help startups gain early customer traction on their product or idea,and establish metrics that can make them competitive applicants for full-time,equity-based accelerators or seed investment.

This spring’s cohort includes Impacks, a St. Cloud based organization. Impacks’ platform provides a simple, convenient way for families to purchase their school supplies online and partners with schools to help them fundraise. Impacks offers customized, prepackaged school supply kits at less than half the national average cost, while also gives families an option to donate to their school. Impacks matches a portion of every donation. In less than one year, Impacks has sold almost 700 school packs, leading to over $30,000 in revenue and $6,000 in donations.

Founder: Brandon Richards | brichards@myimpacks.com | myimpacks.com

Do you know an entrepreneur with a social enterprise idea?

Explore the Initiators Fellowship program to see if it is a fit for you or someone you know. By sharing this email with a friend, you can be the community connector that helps someone transform their social enterprise vision into a scalable, sustainable venture that diversifies and enriches Greater Minnesota.

Through a friendly yet competitive selection process, the program awards up to eight fellowships and provides training, mentoring and guidance—plus $30,000 annually for two years—to support Fellows and their social enterprise ideas.

Learn more and Apply.

Insights and Inspirations

History of Anti-Asian Racism in the United States – Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Celebrate by learning about the history of anti-Asian racism is the U.S., and how each of us can continue to speak up and become better allies in fighting racism. Learn more: https://asianpacificheritage.gov/


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