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The Briefcase

Study finds ATCC boosts area economy

Alexandria Technical and Community College adds about $114 million and 950 jobs to the regional economy, according to a study by Minnesota State, the system of 30 state colleges and seven state universities.

While the college's top priority is student success, its president, Laura Urban, said, "It is important to note that ATCC also plays a vital role in both the state and the regional economies. Our operations and the economic activity generated by our faculty, staff, and students touch virtually every corner of our regional economy."

Commissioned by Minnesota State, the study was conducted by Parker Philips, a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in economic impact analysis. The firm said policy makers can use the analysis in decision making.

Its analysis considered not just direct spending by the school, but student spending and the induced effect of increased household income.

According to the study, those 950 jobs include direct employment by the college as well as jobs created by vendors, contractors and laborers, and at hotels, restaurants and retail stores in support of faculty, staff, students and visitors.

The college also generates about $6.6 million in tax revenue for state and local government in sales, property, personal income and corporate income taxes, the study found. And those degrees students earn? The study figured that they will bring $2.4 billion in additional state income over their estimated 40-year work life.

To read the entire report, visit

Communicating across generations

As Americans delay retirement, the youngest workers are also moving into the workplace, bringing together five generations, from the "Silent Generation" to "Generation Z."

The oldest generation of workers was born in 1945 or earlier, while the youngest was born beginning in 1995. Each generation has its own unique communication style, presenting challenges on the job.

To allay these challenges, a group of economic developers is offering a course about

communicating effectively in the multigenerational workplace.

Katie Trombley, communications instructor at Alexandria Technical and Community College, will teach "Multigenerational Communication in the Workplace," from 1-4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at the college, Room 209.

The course is sponsored by West Central Initiative, Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission and the college's Customized Training Center.

For more information, visit

Meeting to discuss workforce needs

Area employers are invited to a talk about their workforce needs and learn about a state training program from 10-11:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, at the Pioneer Grill at Grand Arbor, 4430 Pioneer Road SE, in Alexandria.

It is hosted by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry's PIPELINE (Private Investment, Public Education, Labor and Industry Experience) Program.

Attendees may share their challenges and successes, network and learn about the program's dual-training approach. The program provides consulting and program development for employers who match on-the-job training with related instruction, particularly for advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology and agriculture.

For more information, call 651-284-5353.