Economic Vitality - Goal 2: Winter 2017
On October 12, 2016, the 10th grade students from Willmar Senior High had the opportunity to visit several manufacturing businesses throughout the Willmar area. October is manufacturing month and several teachers and school staff met with members of the Goal 2 Economic Vitality group to help arrange the local visits. The Willmar school is now looking to incorporate the tour idea as part of their curriculum and is considering expansion into the healthcare sector for increased student exposure to these kinds of opportunities. Since the excursion last fall, New London schools have also expressed interest in future participation for their students.
1 Million Cups
1 Million Cups, a weekly meeting over coffee to introduce entrepreneurs to other like-minded individuals, was started in September, 2016. The gathering takes place on Wednesday mornings at the Barn Theatre in Willmar and features a surprise guest speaker who shares their work to inspire and support other entrepreneurs. The meetings give businesses an occasion to network and even look for possible career opportunities. Free coffee provided – bring your own cup! (cups available for $1).
Willmar Downtown Revitalization
Discussion continues with the Willmar Downtown group to see how we can help grow the opportunities and business activities there. Commercial vacancy numbers have declined and so it’s been encouraging to see steady growth and maintenance take place. Other groups such as Walk the corridor have offered alternative activities to acquaint the public with the diverse culture of downtown.
“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!”
“I'm proud to volunteer and support the efforts of Vision 2040 because creating a healthy community takes a collabortive effort. No one person or entity can create a community where people want to live and work and play, but working together we can create it. Vision 2040 started with an inclusive effort to bring together people from across our region to articulate their vision of the future of our region's communities. The goals that emerged from that vision offer everyone the opportunity to share in the collaborative work necessary to create a healthy and vibrant region--and that's a good thing for all of us.”
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.