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The Briefcase

Free seminars offered on wills

Two local organizations will offer four free seminars about wills starting on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Knute Nelson and Thrivent Financial have organized the seminars, which are open to the public. According to a 2016 Gallup poll, only 44 percent of American adults have a will, a percentage that has fallen over the past two decades. Other studies have found that about a third of American adults have a living will.

The seminars will take place at 6:30 p.m. at Grand Arbor, 4403 Pioneer Road SE in Alexandria.

Tuesday, Sept. 4 — The Whys of Wills (Part I) will discuss how to develop and what to include in a will.

Tuesday, Oct. 9 — The Whys of Wills (Part II)

Thursday, Nov. 8 — U.S. Tax Reform and Leaving Your Legacy

Tuesday, Dec. 11 — Keeping the Farm in the Family

To reserve a spot for any of these workshops, call Chris Harris at 320-759-1269.

Sanford's Fargo hospital wins designation

The Sanford Medical Center in Fargo has won designation as a top-level trauma center, becoming the first to earn the recognition in caring for the most severely injured patients for a broad region in the upper Midwest.

Sanford cleared its final hurdle to be verified as a Level I Adult Trauma Center, a designation awarded by the American College of Surgeons. The achievement makes Fargo the only city with a Level I Adult Trauma Center between Minneapolis, Seattle, Denver and Omaha, according to Sanford.

To be qualified as a top-level trauma center, Sanford must provide 24-hour medical coverage by general surgeons and prompt availability to specialties such as orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery, hand surgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial, pediatric, interventional radiology and critical care, among other services.

Alexandria Industries tops in cancer fundraising

Alexandria Industries employees were recently named the 2017 Top American Cancer Society's Relay for Life Fundraising Team in Minnesota. It raised nearly $52,000 from Sept. 1, 2016, to Aug. 31, 2017.

It looks like Alexandria Industries will have a good shot at repeating that honor in 2018, as it raised more than $80,000 this year.

The employee-run team also is the second largest fundraiser among all teams in the country.

Event organizers presented the award to the company's employees during the Relay For Life of Douglas County annual celebration held in July in Alexandria.

Alexandria Industries' employees hosted many fundraising events for Relay For Life, including their annual Fishing For the Cure ice fishing challenge on the third weekend in February. Due to community support, the 2018 fishing tournament raised $57,500. Employees also raised the remaining funds through lunch fundraisers, bingo nights, jeans days and other efforts.

"It is inspirational to see people from all parts of our community support Relay For Life and help save lives from cancer," said Sherri Maanum, senior community development manager for the American Cancer Society, Inc. "We celebrated individuals who are surviving cancer and remembered loved ones we lost. Many people in our community are taking tangible action to make a difference for those who are fighting this deadly disease."

Alexandria Industries produces engineered products such as customized aluminum extrusions, precision machining of ferrous and non-ferrous products, heatsinks, and plastic injection and foam molded components.

Free job training for age 55 and up

Local businesses need more help with child care, medical records, retail sales and clerical work, and a national nonprofit organization will offer free training in these areas to older adults seeking to re-enter the workforce.

Experience Works will offer a 16-week online training program beginning Monday, Oct. 1, called Job Quest. Participants work their way through specially-designed courses that include computer literacy, occupational skills training, soft skills development, workforce re-entry training, peer interaction and coaching and job search and development.

"We did some research and discovered these specific training areas respond to employers who are hiring locally," says Michael Myers, state program manager for Experience Works. "Job Quest will connect participants with training, despite disability challenges or living in remote or rural areas, so they can focus becoming confident and job-ready."

Experience Works is currently seeking people who are 55 and older, unemployed with limited income.

"We know there are many folks out there who might qualify," says Michael Pattee, employment and training coordinator for Experience Works in Douglas and 16 other counties. "This opportunity can help give them the competitive edge they need to secure employment and an improved quality of life."

For more information, contact Experience Works at 855-270-9660 or, or visit