To the editor:

Nov. 12-18 is National Community Foundation Week. It's a great time to remind West Central Minnesota residents that West Central Initiative is their regional community foundation. That means we work with citizens, public officials and organizations from their community and county to make West Central Minnesota a great place to live, work and raise families.

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Locally, we:

• Administer the Greater Alexandria Industrial Network Fund, the Alexandria Public Schools Education Foundation, the Osakis Economic Development Fund and the Brandon Community Fund. We provide the technical assistance so the funds' advisors can concentrate on raising and granting dollars, and accomplishing their missions.

• Provide loans, business assistance and workforce development training to businesses.

• Coordinate the regionwide Early Childhood Initiative (ECI), which includes the Building Connections-Douglas County ECI coalition. The ECI seeks to help our youngest children thrive and succeed in school and in life.

• Help fund Leadership Alexandria through a leadership development grant.

• Provide regional economic development and transportation planning.

• Launched a new Live Wide Open marketing campaign to encourage people to live and work in West Central Minnesota. Learn more at livewideopen.com.

In everything we do, our goal is to help West Central Minnesota communities, businesses and families prosper. We work to stay healthy and fiscally sound so we can continue to serve our nine-county region long into the future.

If you would like to learn more about West Central Initiative, please visit our website at wcif.org. Or give us a call at 1-800-735-2239. We'd love to talk to you about how we can work together to create a better tomorrow for West Central Minnesota.

Brad Barth, President

West Central Initiative

Fergus Falls, MN