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Kandiyohi County Business Retention Study

2015 Kandiyohi County EDC BRE Findings and identified projects-1A study was initiated by the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar EDC and the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Grow MN! Team to accomplish the following objectives:

There were 60 convention, retail, tourism and service industry businesses and 22 manufacturing businesses that were interviewed. The results of the study will help to drive the direction of growth moving forward. There are a number of groups currently working on projects as a result of this study including the following:

  1. The EDC's BRE (Business Retention and Expansion) committee, in conjunction with the Vision 2040 Group 2 formed a subcommittee to address businesses difficulty with access to workforce. The subcommittee has created PSAs (Public Service Announcements) for manufacturing month to recognize the contributions of our local manufacturers, is planning on a video of our local manufacturing jobs and is planning an event for next year which will include students, teachers and parents in learning about jobs in our local area. Other industry efforts are also being disucssed.
  2. The EDC's Broadband and Advanced Technology Committee is working to address broadband issues.
  3. The EDC's Marketing Committee is addressing the marketing needs and will soon launch the new website.
  4. The EDC is partnering and assisting with the "Green Card Voices" project to enhance our communities support of and embrace the diversity in our area.
  5. Schools are involved in the workforce plans.

View the completed study by downloading this pdf: 2015 Kandiyohi County EDC BRE Findings and identified projects.

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From our community volunteers

“I'm honored to be part of Vision 2040 and the team that is forging the future of the Willmar Lakes Area community. We are a strong vibrant community that works hard and works together through partnerships and collaborative efforts. This spark of leadership for this is caused by people willing to risk failure to reach for success. We have seen there's no limit to what a group can do if the individuals don't care who gets the credit.”

Ken Warner, Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce

I made connections with community members and found many common visions.  I have begun to get more active in the community due to the connections.

Alumni, Class of 2016

“We are proud to be part of the Vision 2040 effort here at the community foundation because it aligns with our core mission to engage people, connect resources and build community. It was an easy choice to invest not only financial resources to support Vision 2040 but also to lend significat board and staff time to help drive this effort forward. It's transforming our communities for the future our residents dream about-using their ideas and energies to make good things happen organically in real time and for years to come-and we want to be part of making that possible!”

Sara Carlson, Willmar Area Community Foundation
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