Economic Development

Chuck Marohn / Wiley

Chuck Marohn is kind of a rabble-rouser.

He's soft-spoken, but he's talking about turning a lot of things we thought we knew about communities, economic development and jobs upside down.

He talks about a post-Depression development pattern where short-term rewards provide a "sugar high" - but where there are long-term liabilities down the road.

He's not convinced that new growth and economic well-being are the same things.

He says macro-statistics: unemployment, GDP growth, the stock market - no longer reflect reality. And public policy needs to catch up.

©Bryan French

Michele Reeves hasn't seen Duluth's Lincoln Park Craft District since she took part in some planning sessions over three years ago.

So the "urban strategist" had a lot to take in when she returned this week to lead a couple of public seminars about moving forward: financially, philosophically and creatively in the district.

Jim Denham/Flickr

What if you wanted to stay and work in your tiny Minnesota home town after college - and you could find a job there?

What if you didn't want to wait until retirement to move "up north"?

The U of M Extension and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs plan to find out, with the help of a $500,00 Rural Workforce and Entrepreneur Recruitment and Retention grant from the USDA,  who wants to come to rural Minnesota and why, and how public and private initiatives can support efforts to attract new residents.

Minnesota Lt. Governor Tina Smith is in Duluth today, talking economic development with business leaders.

But she took some time to talk with KUMD's Maija Jenson about the budget surplus and the Governor's proposals with regard to higher education.

Squirrel Nation [via Flickr]

  We have a conversation with Colleen Landkamer, the USDA Rural Development State Director in Minnesota, about the Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant (SDGG) program.  Since 2009, the US Department of Agriculture has provided grant funding to local cooperatives and other organizations that provide technical assistance to socially disadvantaged groups in rural areas strongly affected by poverty. Examples of technical assistance may include leadership training, feasibility studies, and developing business and strategic plans. 

Creative Minnesota

Is art a frill?  If you can’t make a living at it, is it worth bothering with?  On the other hand, the first  Creative Minnesota report, issued last year, says the Northland – that’s just our little corner of the state - benefits from over a million dollars in economic impact from the arts and culture.

It’s a fascinating conversation that needs history to give it context – and out of the box thinking to project into the future.

© Will Steger

Polar explorer, writer, photographer and speaker Will Steger has been talking to people about climate change before anyone knew there was such a thing.

It's not usually a cheery topic; but Steger, who will be speaking at UMD tomorrow night in a program called "Eyewitness to Global Warming," is almost ebullient.

People are getting it, says Steger, now that they are experiencing the evidence first hand.  Far from being despairing, though, Steger is anxious to share his message of new opportunities; a booming economy in clean energy; world-wide cooperation in working toward a cleaner, better world; and something he says is more than hope: empowerment.


A lot like Rodney Dangerfield, the arts don't get a lot of respect when it comes to economic development and dollars and sense.