Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Workforce Innovations in Regional Economic Development Grant

This new grant will benefit 36 counties in southern and western Minnesota. It is federal money (from Department of Labor) which was allocated to the Governor and then to DEED (Department of Employment and Economic Development). The grant will be administered by a 25 member advisory board made up of representatives from 36 counties. This group will meet in late July and set the group up legally. At this time the WIRED board is not organized as a legal entity. It is not a joint powers or a corporation or a non-profit.
The mission of the grant is to promote innovation, develop new technologies, to allow these counties to remain competitive in business and talent development. Money will go toward educational opportunities. Requests for proposals will be accepted and then dollars will be disbursed. Groups like the Three Rivers Resource Conservation and Development Council could apply or collaborations of private entities could apply.
One proposal is to improve the work force in the trades area.
Another is to develop a mature worker institute – to find ways to positively use these people. Another possibility is to replicate entreupreneural round tables that have been used in some counties. The money cannot be used for capital investment; it must ultimately affect the individuals for the broader good. Connie Ireland (DEED) is the local contact for the grant. end

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