On Thursday morning, Journey to Growth held a public meeting at the Chatfield Center for the Arts. The organization began in 2014 and the meeting kicked off their fourth year of a five-year plan.
Their plan includes building economic growth by diversifying the regional economy. To do so, their goal is to promote growth in multiple sectors of the encomy, such as manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism. Vice Chair Chris Giesen says this will create jobs, opportunities, and allow area residents to interact with and enjoy their community. Project Manager Heather Holmes says this will also keep Southeast Minnesota competitive within the global market.
The organization also wants to create a regional identity through encouraging collaboration and dialogue between Southeast Minnesota communities.
Part of their initiative to promote regional thinking is giving Southeast Minnesota a name. Through the "Name Our Region" contest, area residents can submit their name ideas on the Journey to Growth website. The chosen name will be the official name of Southeast Minnesota, and the winner will receive $500. The submission deadline is April 15th.