Focus group: Meeting our future workforce needs

Ranked as the 16th Best College Town in America by Business Insider, southeastern Minnesota’s reputation for talent development is recognized nationally. But what’s not as widely known is the unique collaboration taking place between higher education and the business community to help address the area’s growing workforce needs.

Now, with construction for DMC’s signature Discovery Square building officially underway, working together to ensure Rochester has the skilled workforce to meet the needs of the region is becoming increasingly important.

DMC is partnering with Winona State University-Rochester to conduct research into the gaps that currently exist in the local educational offerings and how to be intentional about filling those gaps as we develop future programming, specifically related to entrepreneurialism.

Building a global destination for health and wellness

One of the goals of DMC is to position Rochester as an international attraction for those who are focused on wellness, not just coping with illness. That includes providing options for improving health and fitness, increasing the social connections that foster a vibrant community, and harnessing the built environment to promote well-being.

DMC invites you to join us for an upcoming event to learn more about how we can design the environment around us to improve our health and wellness.

Take the Commuter Challenge

Driving alone may seem like the most convenient way to get around Rochester, but traveling solo is not always the best – and certainly not the only – travel option.

Currently, about 40,000 people travel downtown for work each day, and local transportation studies show that around 75% of those employees drive to work. But with DMC expected to attract 30,000 additional jobs during the course of the initiative, planners have been looking at other modes of transportation to reduce traffic congestion and parking issues.

“What we learned time and time again from other cities across the nation is that transit is number one,” says DMC Economic Development Agency Executive Director Lisa Clarke. “It’s really critical to get it right on the front end.”

Short-term and long-term planning efforts to enhance Rochester’s transportation are underway. The week of November 13, the city of Rochester is promoting a fall Commuter Challenge to encourage workers and residents to explore different means of transit to get to work or around the community.

Think local, reach global

 

 

 

 

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is celebrated in more than 165 nations and, locally, we’re excited to be in the midst of our fifth year celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week Rochester.

From coffees to keynotes, there have been an array of activities throughout the week of November 13-17 to fit everyone’s interests and schedules. “This year’s events really continued to grow what we started five years ago,” says Jamie Sundsbak, community manager of Collider Coworking and GEW Roch organizer. “We’ve provided networking, educational events, and inspiring speakers to celebrate entrepreneurs throughout the region.”

Dr. Peter Stark presenting at Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria

One such event was hosted by DMC on Monday, November 13. “Doing Business Globally: A Cultural Perspective” featured Dr. Peter J. Stark, an expert in international business strategies. Stark helped attendees navigate the unfamiliar terrain often encountered when conducting business abroad. “Doing business internationally is about more than understanding the cultural norms,” Chris Schad, DMC’s Senior Strategy Consultant, explains. “Dr. Stark provided insight on a variety of issues to consider when engaging in business with other countries.” 

Mayo Civic Center: Attracting more and bigger

DMC is dedicated to creating first-rate experiences not only for those who live and work in America’s City for Health but also for the 3+ million people who visit Rochester each year.

Since first opening its doors in 1938, the Mayo Civic Center has been attracting conferences, entertainment, and sporting events, balancing the needs of the community with those of visitors and clients. Now, on the heels of a recently completed $84 million convention center expansion and facility renovation, Mayo Civic Center is set to realize the economic benefit in 2018 after 21 months of exceeding booking projections in 2016 and 2017.

“New bookings are up over 30%, mainly because our spectacular new venues are helping us attract more and bigger conventions and meetings,” says Brad Jones, executive director of the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau, reinforcing the decision to invest public dollars into the space.

Share in the excitement of Discovery Square

As part of the groundbreaking ceremony for a new, innovative life-science building in Discovery Square, Destination Medical Center (DMC) is hosting the Discovery Square Community Celebration and Innovation Showcase Thursday, November 2, 2017, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

This event will be held in the Discovery Square sub-district, on 5th Street SW between 1st and 2nd Avenues SW (just west of Pasquale’s restaurant).  It will bring together art, science, and community to celebrate the progress that’s already taken place in Discovery Square, and look forward to its promising future.  It’s also an opportunity to meet the innovators and entrepreneurs that are already creating great innovations in Rochester.

“Airglow” lights up the night

Heart of the City will be aglow this November when Destination Medical Center partners with the Rochester Downtown Alliance and Northern Sun Productions to introduce a first-of-its-kind event to Rochester.

Airglow will bring interactive lighting installations, including a 40-foot inflatable igloo, to downtown’s Peace Plaza from November 4-11. The all-ages event will take place each evening from 5-10 p.m.

Local investments pay off as state funds for infrastructure arrive

This past spring, DMC reached a major milestone when the private investment threshold required to release state dollars for public infrastructure improvements was not only met but surpassed.

The unique economic development model set forth by the legislature in 2013 required that $200 million in private investments be committed to the DMC initiative before state funds could be released, and multiple projects of varying dollar amounts contributed to the threshold being exceeded by nearly $97 million. The Department of Employment and Economic Development certified the investment dollars so the state money could be released and used for local infrastructure improvements. With that certification now complete, the first of the state DMC funds are now available.

Planning is key to citywide success

Strategic urban planning is key to sustainable development in a growing community like Rochester. It helps city leaders to maximize public dollars, adapt to changing demographics, and address the demand for housing, transportation, and workforce. While DMC helps shape the future of downtown, city and county planners are looking ahead to prepare for citywide growth.

“Planning to Succeed” or P2S 2040 is the city’s comprehensive plan intended to provide community members, business leaders, city staff, and government officials with a roadmap as they prepare for current and future growth.

Both the City’s Comprehensive Plan and the DMC Development Plan, which was endorsed by the City of Rochester in March 2015, encouraged extensive community engagement throughout the planning processes. “Community-wide participation is incredibly important,” says Patrick Seeb, DMC economic development and placemaking director. “It leads to better ideas, community buy-in, and long-term success.”

Boys & Girls Club puts new twist on workforce training

The world is changing fast. As technologies evolve, innovations emerge, and current models of education and employment shift, how do we ensure our youth are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow?

The Boys & Girls Club of Rochester is taking a new approach to job skills development for Rochester youth with the opening of a new downtown ice cream shop. The Chocolate Twist will occupy the main floor of the Paine Furniture building, which is prominently located in the Heart of the City. The shop will not only offer personal and professional development opportunities for teens, it will also create an additional revenue stream for the Boys & Girls Club.