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Rural cities launch economic development partnership

At the organization's summer conference, held July 24-26 in Bemidji, the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) announced its plan to launch the Greater Minnesota Economic Development Partnership (GMEDP). Under this new program, rural cities will partner with economic development authorities, chambers of commerce, private businesses, and non-profits to propose and advocate for targeted economic development initiatives for Greater Minnesota.

The Coalition announced that Dan Dorman, former State Representative and Executive Director of the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency, will serve as Executive Director of the GMEDP.

"After serving in the state legislature for eight years and as Albert Lea's Economic Development Director for six years, I know all too well that Greater Minnesota needs a strong voice fighting for economic development programs and dollars," said Dan Dorman. "I know how to build coalitions at the Capitol across party lines to get legislation passed. The Greater Minnesota Economic Development Partnership will be strategic, but relentless in our efforts to deliver the programs and policies that rural communities and businesses need to be successful."

In the coming months GMEDP will announce key policy initiatives for the 2014 legislative session.

In its decision to dedicate its energy and resources to this initiative, the CGMC noted that businesses in the Twin Cities have had powerful organizations advocating for their economic development for decades.

"An organization like the GMEDP is long overdue," said Alan Oliver, CEO of Mrs. Gerry's Kitchens in Albert Lea. "Greater Minnesota clearly needs an organization - one that is aggressive and effective - that is focused on developing and fighting for policies tailored to strengthen communities and businesses like ours."

Oliver added, "Dan Dorman has been an asset to Mrs. Gerry's in creating new jobs and the recent expansion of our plant; he will be the same asset to Greater Minnesota as Executive Director of the Greater Minnesota Economic Development Partnership".

The CGMC also noted the importance of leveraging the improving economy to build additional growth and ensure this progress hits every corner of the state.

"We need a united front of local government and business officials working together to bring economic growth to Greater Minnesota," said Hal Leland, Mayor of Fergus Falls. "I've agreed to serve on Board of the Greater Minnesota Economic Development Partnership because this organization will have a real impact in shifting the state's economic development focus to Greater Minnesota."