Child care, broadband discussed at CGMC Fall Conference

A number of GMNP members took advantage of an invitation from our sister organization, the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC), to attend the CGMC’s annual Fall Conference last week in Alexandria. The conference touched a number of issues that are relevant to our members, most notably child care and broadband.

Child care was one of the leading topics discussed at the conference. Marnie Werner, acting director of the Center for Rural Policy, was the luncheon speaker and presented updates on their report “A quiet crisis: Minnesota’s child care shortage.” You can watch her presentation here.

Following Werner’s presentation, GMNP Executive Director Dan Dorman moderated a child care panel discussion — you can watch it here. Taking part in the panel were:

  • Nancy Jost, early childhood coordinator for West Central Initiative
  • Tim Penny, president and CEO of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation
  • Jessica Beyer, business development specialist for First Children’s Finance
  • Amanda Benda, director of Little Huskies Daycare Center & Preschool in Jackson, Minn.

Bill Coleman, president of Community Technology Advisors and a consultant for the Blandin Foundation, also gave a presentation at the conference about broadband in Greater Minnesota. In particular, he pointed to data, recently covered at the Minnesota 2017 Border-to-Border Broadband Conference, showing where each Minnesota county stands on broadband and its impact on business growth (more information is available here). You can watch Coleman’s presentation here.

Thank you to all of the GMNP who joined us in Alexandria. It was great to see you join forces with city leaders from across the state — we will all need to work together to find solutions to the economic development problems that impact Greater Minnesota communities and businesses.