February 2020
Tele-Mental Health Project
Tele-mental health work funded by the Blandin Foundation
RNDC is currently contracting with a health care provider that provides tele-mental health services to map regional needs for mental health, substance abuse, and health assessments in Region Nine. Clients can access services from their home, workplace, or other remote locations. RNDC is working with local public entities to identify specific needs and promote services to under served populations.

For more information contact Kristian Braekkan, senior regional planner, at (507)387-5643 or kristian@rndc.org .
Survey Extended!
Region Nine, in partnership with the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and FoodOps, is conducting a survey to identify food and beverage manufacturing trends to support growth in these and related sectors. The goal of the survey is to help create an increased economic impact for the entire state.

This survey will remain open until March 31, 2020.
Waseca Manufacturing Resource Center
Market research for specific regional training and education needs is being conducted by Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU) and the Engineering Center of Excellence through a survey that will reach 170+ regional manufacturers. Additionally, a team from MSU and a mental health care provider is working with manufacturing employees across the region to identify specific wellness and health needs among industrial workers in Region Nine.
Industry forecasts have been generated for all sectors of the manufacturing clusters in Region Nine and a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis has been performed. An economic impact study on manufacturing economies in Region Nine, specifically focusing on Waseca, has also been conducted.
RNDC is now in the site selection phase working with a private contractor to identify potential sites for a resource center in Waseca. The contractor is working with the City of Waseca to identify potential sites in the Opportunity Zone which is located on the western side of the city.
Preliminary work is scheduled to conclude by June 1, 2020, with a final report due in October 2020. For more information contact Kristian Braekkan, senior regional planner, at (507)387-5643 or kristian@rndc.org .
Strengthen Rural School Districts through America's Farmers Grow Rural Education
Grow Rural Education, sponsored by Bayer Fund, is back for another year. You can make a difference for the students in your area! Public school districts can compete for $15,000 grants to enhance STEM education after your nomination. Starting STEM education early is important to plant the seed of a future career in agriculture.

$1.9 Million Committed to STEM Education from Bayer Fund in 2020

Nominating is easy! Take five minutes to help strengthen your school district and nominate by April 1.
MnDOT invites public to comment on rules governing Special Transportation Services providers
The Minnesota Department of Transportation is seeking public comments on existing rules for Special Transportation Services providers that serve the elderly or disabled, or provide non-emergency medical transportation services paid for with public funding.

MnDOT is in the process of updating the existing rules, and is interested in hearing from stakeholders about updates and improvements that should be considered, before any new rule changes are proposed.

All new rule amendments, after implemented, will affect STS providers, drivers and attendants of special transportation service vehicles, clients of special transportation services, insurance companies that provide coverage for special transportation service providers, and instructors and organizations that provide training related to STS.
How to Make LinkedIn Work For You
Friday, March 27th
7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Best Western Plus,
2101 S. Broadway Street, New Ulm, MN
This event is FREE and open to the public. Light breakfast provided.
Did you set up a LinkedIn profile a few years ago when you were looking for a job and haven’t looked since? Get the notification, but never actually look at them? If you are a business owner, now is the time to shift your focus to your biggest networking opportunity and the platform with the highest organic traffic of all available social media. During this presentation, you will learn about recent changes with LinkedIn, the continuing efforts they are making, and what strategies you can use to grow your network and your business.

About the Speaker:

Julie Fredrickson is the Owner and Executive Director of J. Fre Consulting, a southern Minnesota company that provides Social Media Management, Digital Advertising Services, as well as Consulting and Training on Digital Marketing and Strategy. With over 20 years of marketing experience, Julie started J. Fre Consulting in 2018 after a long overdue A-Ha! Moment.
In the Media
Welcoming Communities assessment results to be presented - Read the Sleepy Eye Herald-Dispatch article

Region Nine Development Commission a Part of a Statewide Food and Beverage Manufacturer Survey - Read the KTOE article

Region Nine Development Commission looks for solutions in food and beverage manufacturing capacity challenges - Read the KEYC article

School Board Shares Info - Read The Journal article

Welcoming Communities assessment discussed in Sleepy Eye -Read the Sleepy Eye Heard-Dispatch
$$ Grant Opportunities $$
Grants for community strategies to adapt to climate change

MPCA is soliciting grant applications for approximately $250,000 to research, develop, and implement strategies for communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change and improve community resilience while achieving positive environmental outcomes. These efforts will prevent or reduce the environmental impacts including waste and pollution caused by warming temperatures and extreme precipitation while protecting public health and well-being.

Deadline: March 11, 2020
Healthy Start 2020: Increasing Access to Quality Early Childhood Care and Education

The goal of the Healthy Start 2020 grant is to increase access to and quality of early childhood care and education. The focus on health equity means that projects that work to dismantle systems and change the conditions that prevent children of color and indigenous children, low-income children, and children in rural communities from accessing quality early childhood care and education will be funded. Strong applications will demonstrate their commitment to these aims.

Deadline: April 2, 2020
Calendar of Events
About Region Nine
Region Nine Development Commission takes great pride in working with and on behalf of counties, cities, townships, and schools throughout South Central Minnesota. Since 1972, being a partner for progress has led to the development of programs and identification of solutions in the areas of economic development, business development, healthy communities, transportation, community development, and leveraging regional resources. To learn more about our work and mission, visit www.rndc.org.
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