In the Know: 'Everything connects to everything' is mantra for Alexandria College

This mantra reminds us that the work we do is far reaching — stretching far beyond the walls of the college.

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By Michael Seymour, ATCC President

As we kicked off spring semester Jan. 5, a primary theme of our in-service event was “Everything Connects to Everything.” It is a mantra that was created by an ATCC retiree, Dennis Rasmussen, and has been with Alexandria Technical and Community College since President Frank Starke’s era. This mantra reminds us that the work we do is far reaching — stretching far beyond the walls of the college.

Minnesota State recently released the findings of a study that estimates the impact of Alexandria Technical and Community College on the regional economy to be $139.8 million and 1,027 jobs. This is up from the last study, four years ago, where the college’s impact was measured at $114 million.

The study was commissioned by Minnesota State, the system of 26 state colleges and seven state universities, and was conducted by Parker Philips, a consulting firm specializing in economic impact analysis. The study used IMPLAN to calculate and norm each Minnesota State institution’s economic impact. IMPLAN is a nationally recognized input/output modeling software that originated from the University of Minnesota’s Agricultural Extension program. It is widely used across industry sectors and has become the market leader for conducting these types of analyses.

The study concludes that the college has significant direct and indirect impacts on the economy and the workforce. In addition to the direct impact of faculty and staff we employ, and the students who attend, our more than 17,000 alumni that currently work in Minnesota indirectly add to the college’s economic impact on our state. The college’s high-quality programs, growth and innovations the past four years have induced new jobs creation across the region.


We are a cog, an instrumental part of the whole that depends on others for our success, as well as the overall success of the communities and the region we serve. While we are extremely proud of our economic contributions, we cannot forget to give accolades to those at the college whose work helps us meet the entirety of our mission by improving the social and cultural life of our area communities.

The college offers engagement opportunities through our Continuing Education and Customized Training department, which hosts over 300 registrations annually in a lecture series designed for people aged 50 or older – called Senior College. Similarly, members of our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee co-hosted a first annual Diversity Festival that drew 200-300 people this past September to learn about cultures other than their own.

Academically, our students play active roles in strengthening our communities through activities such as annual tax preparation for low income individuals. Our Exercise Science students have established a connection with Kalon Prep Academy working with students and staff on workplace wellness. Our Law Enforcement students have adopted one mile of road and pick up the debris from ditches, and shop for and wrap Christmas gifts for needy families in our surrounding counties. Communication Art and Design students help teach art to elementary students at Brandon-Evansville. Our Carpentry students assist Habitat for Humanity and our SkillsUSA students participate in the annual cleanup of the Smokey Timbers Camp.

Legends Athletics brings entertainment value and fans to Alexandria, who eat in our restaurants, stay in our hotels and shop at our area stores.

Our employees also serve many individual roles outside of their college work on school and chamber boards and are active in area service clubs.

These are just a few examples illustrating how our work at the college is far reaching. As we build a stronger college we contribute to the economic, social and cultural fabric of our community. The work of our faculty, staff and students remind me every day how “Everything Connects to Everything.”

Michael Seymour is the president of the Alexandria Technical and Community College. In the Know is a rotating column written by community leaders from the Douglas County area.

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