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St. Cloud area community priorities

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St. Cloud area community priorities Powered By Docstoc
					P R E S S      R E L E A S E
                                                                               For More Information
                                       Steve Joul, Central MN Community Foundation 320-257-9731
                                                Kathy Gaalswyk, Initiative Foundation 218.820.2138

Greater St. Cloud Community 2013 Priorities Announced

Growing business, developing our future workforce, improving physical amenities of our
community and providing opportunities for all members of our community to be involved are
the driving themes for the new community priorities.

Over 200 people gathered on February 21 to celebrate completion of several of the community
priorities identified in 2011, hear about progress on the remaining seven, and provide input on
new priorities for the greater St. Cloud area. The sponsoring partners of the community
Priorities process--Central Minnesota Community Foundation, the Initiative Foundation and the
St. Cloud Times—urged a focus on priorities that touch the six community area, increase
collaboration, leverage resources and volunteer talent, and advance a shared vision for the
area.

The input received was organized across nine community themes which provide a framework
for specific activities with measurable outcomes. Some of the specific activities are named,
other strategies are yet to be developed.

1. Retain, expand and attract businesses
   • Advance a regional branding effort.
   • Maximize the impact of educational institutions on regional economic development via
      commercialization of intellectual property and university-business partnerships.
   • Nurture culturally diverse entrepreneurs.
2. Support student success through a cradle to career approach for education and workforce
   development
   • Launch a web based talent portal to link workers, employers, educators and resource
      partners.
   • Establish the Executive Leadership Group to guide Partner for Student Success transition
      and engage community.
   • Provide work place and business experiences for youth and adult learners.
   • Increase access to quality and affordable early childhood education, child care and
      training.
   • Expand strategies for addressing the educational achievement gap for people of color or
      poverty.




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3. Expand inclusive participation and engagement of people of color in community
   leadership
   • Facilitate connections for immigrants and refugees with the broader community.
   • Address language barriers that prevent access to health, education, housing and other
       critical services.
4. Enhance recreational amenities and natural resources
   • Provide expanded access to, activities on, and stewardship of the Mississippi River.
   • Develop regional community and/or aquatic center.
5. Invest in regional transportation and infrastructure
   • Support regional air service, including Chicago connection.
   • Facilitate extension of Northstar rail to St. Cloud.
   • Extend Wobegon and other trail systems to urban core areas and river corridor for
       recreation and non-motorized transportation.
   • Support expansion of I-94 from Rogers to St. Cloud.
6. Elevate culture, arts and “sense of place”
   • Connect and enhance downtowns, river and neighborhoods with place-making and
       public arts.
   • Create a sustainable source of funding for the arts.
7. Assist those facing poverty
   • Implement strategies to expand the pool of and access to affordable housing, mental
       health, transportation, and other critical services.
   • Develop options for housing, assistance to homeless people and/or those in crisis.
   • Expand access to essential services (like mental health) by addressing language,
       transportation, out of school activities, and other barriers.
8. Empower youth in the community
   • Identify and reduce barriers to recreation, learning, service, and leadership roles for
       youth.
9. Support aging in place
   • Develop strategies to assess and address opportunities and needs for seniors and the
       aging population.

To request more information or to get involved email info@communitygiving.org or
info@ifound.org. It is through the broad involvement of many community members that we
can bring about significant positive change for our community.




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