Growing prosperity in greater minnesota

GMNP member Initiative Foundation hosts Governor, Lt. Governor for discussion on child care

Gov. Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan joined local leaders in Little Falls for a roundtable discussion on Greater Minnesota’s child care crisis.

The Initiative Foundation in Little Falls hosted Gov. Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan on July 11 for a roundtable discussion on Greater Minnesota’s child care crisis. The roundtable brought together a variety of voices—from employers and child care providers, to city and economic development leaders—to highlight the impact the crisis is having in the region and to bring forward some of the things the state can do to mitigate its impacts.

During the meeting, Gov. Walz acknowledged that the child care crisis affects all of Minnesota, but it looks quite different in Greater Minnesota. As Gov. Walz commented, as he travels across Greater Minnesota and asks city and business leaders what’s holding them back, he consistently hears “we can’t find enough employees and we can’t find child care.”

Joining the roundtable were GMNP members Matt Varilek, president and CEO of the Initiative Foundation, and Anna Gruber, city and county manager with Sourcewell.

GMNP membership meeting to be held July 25

The Greater Minnesota Partnership’s annual membership meeting is coming up on Thursday, July 25 at 11 a.m. in the conference room in the Country Inn & Suites in Bemidji. All GMNP members are encouraged to attend! We will email the full agenda and any other meeting materials to our members when we get closer to the date.

As in past years, the GMNP membership meeting is being held in conjunction with the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities’ Summer Conference, which will be held July 24-26 at the Sanford Center in Bemidji (the Country Inn & Suites is located right next door). All GMNP members are invited to attend the full conference as well, which will feature a lot of economic development-focused presentations and discussions on topics such as workforce & affordable housing and an innovative school/city/business/higher ed job training partnership that has been established in Bemidji. In addition, DEED Commissioner Steve Grove is the luncheon speaker on Thursday — we look forward to hearing his insights into economic development issues and programs. To register for the full CGMC Summer Conference, go to

If you have any questions about the GMNP membership meeting or the CGMC Summer Conference, please contact Julie Liew at