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Oct 30 14

NOW HIRING: Transportation/Community Development Planner

by Melissa

The Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (UMVRDC) is looking for a planner to work primarily in transportation and will have some general community development projects with cities, counties and other organizations in the five-county UMVRDC region of Big Stone, Swift, Lac qui Parle, Chippewa and Yellow Medicine Counties.

Education & Experience
4-year degree in community development, planning, transportation, urban studies/design, public administration, environmental studies or a related field or at least six years’ experience in the previous fields required.

The Position
Primary responsibilities (50-75%) will be transportation planning and will include the following areas:

  • Assist with statewide transportation projects and plans as determined by MnDOT.
  • Participate in the development of the Area Transportation Improvement Program for MnDOT Districts 4 & 8.
  • Complete transportation planning projects or studies for the region that promote a seamless transportation network.
  • Review and process functional classification change requests in coordination with the local road authority and the MnDOT District State Aid Engineer.
  • Communicate with MnDOT; RDC staff, boards and committees; local officials and staff; and the general public on a board range of transportation related issues.
  • Meet and coordinate with MnDOT and peer transportation planners to enhance planning and provide regional input for state projects and projects considered for federal funding.
  • Provide professional assistance to local units of government on local and regional transportation issues.
  • Work with communities and schools developing and implementing Safe Routes to School Plans.
  • Promote and develop active transportation strategies for cities, counties, and schools.

Other work areas (25-50%) will be assigned and may include the following areas:

  • Community strategic planning
  • Capital improvement planning
  • Environmental reviews
  • Comprehensive planning and plan updates
  • Zoning ordinance development
  • Telecommunication/broadband planning
  • MN DEED Small Cities Development Program grant writing and administration
  • Hazard mitigation planning
  • Renewable energy project development and grant writing

Successful candidates will be able to demonstrate experience or capacity in the following core skill areas:

  1. Strong oral and written communications skills, including those related to collaboration, influencing, relationship building and strategic integrative thinking.
  2. Ability to work independently and as a multi-disciplinary team of 2-4 other planners.
  3. Ability to research, compile and analyze data and present results clearly and effectively.
  4. Strong grant writing and administration ability or experience.
  5. Strong computer based skills. Additional consideration provided for experience with: Access, SPSS; GIS mapping and analysis; web development and/or editing.
  6. Passion for providing excellent customer service.
  7. Ability to coordinate and facilitate meetings and public hearings by setting agendas, public notifications, etc.
  8. Ability to multi-task and balance multiple projects at once.
  9. Ability to draft contracts and proposals.
  10. Ability to market RDC services and develop contracts to support RDC services.

See the Job Description for detailed explanation of the position.

See the Position Profile for a general explanation of this position and the agency.

Starting salary $40,000 + depending on experience and qualifications.

Benefits include full single health insurance high deductible plan ($3,000 single/$6,000 family maximum),  50% family coverage, full single dental, agency funded health savings account ($1,500 in 2014), life, flexible benefits plan, vacation leave, sick leave, school leave, flexible work scheduling, deferred compensation plan, Roth 457, Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA).

The position is available starting immediately. The review of applications begins November 14. This position will remain open until filled. Job offers are not final until receiving the UMVRDC Board of Commissioners approval and upon successful competition of a background and credit check.

To Apply

  • The application is available online. Please fill it out electronically, print a copy, then sign and date it. Application is available here.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Send application, copies of college transcripts, and cover letter highlighting three things you can bring to the UMVRDC Team to:

Executive Director
323 West Schlieman Avenue
Appleton, MN 56208
320-289-1981 ext. 101




Oct 30 14

NOW HIRING: Senior Accountant

by Melissa

Senior AccountantRDC logo - square, with tagline

Challenging position in well-established, quality organization. Enjoy a  professional, dynamic and creative culture, flexible work environment,  exceptional benefits (Medical, Dental, Life Insurance, Flex Spending, employer funded HSA, Vacation, Sick, Paid Holidays, PERA and other retirement options) and career growth opportunities!

Candidates for this position must possess a degree in accounting, finance, business administration, public administration or a closely related field from an accredited four-year college or university and must have five (5) years related accounting or finance work. This position reports directly to the Finance Officer. Salary will be based on experience.

This position involves a strong working knowledge of accounting principles and procedures, A-133 audit preparation, compliance with state and federal grant conditions, financial reports and budgets, internal control procedures, payroll and accounts payable functions.

The ideal candidate will display excellent communication, leadership and supervisory skills for this position. Candidates should demonstrate strong work ethic, excellent attention to detail, be well organized, have the ability to work independently on diverse projects and be a team player.  Passion for customer service and for cultivating community relationships a must.

Application and full position description available at EOE.

The position is available starting immediately.

The review of applications begins August 8 and every two weeks thereafter. This position will remain open until filled.

Job offers are not final until receiving the UMVRDC Board of Commissioners approval and upon successful competition of a background and credit check.

To Apply

  • Please complete the application electronically, print a copy, then sign and date it. Application is available here. 
  • Send application, copies of college transcripts, and cover letter highlighting three things you can bring to the UMVRDC Finance Team to:

Executive Director 323 West Schlieman Avenue Appleton, MN 56208 320-289-1981 ext. 101

Oct 22 14

2015 Community Assistantship Program Grant

by Melissa
Community Based Research (CBR) is where community knowledge and University knowledge come together to solve the problems of our time. Merging community knowledge with the resources and expertise of the University sheds new light on today’s challenges and helps to identify innovative directions to solve them.According to a key article in the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, CBR has three defining characteristics:

  • It is a collaborative enterprise between academic researchers and community members. For CURA, this means that the research questions are defined in partnership and that the project is community-driven.
  • It seeks to democratize knowledge by validating multiple sources of knowledge and promoting the use of multiple methods of discovery. For CURA, this means that academic and community knowledge are valued equally, and that student researchers use a variety of approaches to tackling the research questions.
  • It has a goal of social action for the purpose of achieving social change and justice. For CURA, this means that the emphasis is always placed on the community’s use of the research results.

CBR benefits community organizations by enabling them to make informed, data-driven decisions and provides new perspectives on community issues. CBR benefits students by providing opportunities to apply academic learning to real-world problems and ultimately makes students more employable. CBR also contributes to the wider community by acting as a model of what works in communities that can be replicated by others and contributing to policy discussions on community and regional levels.

The Community Assistantship Program (CAP) supports rural communities interested in hiring a student to work on a community-supported research project. The deadline for project proposals is Oct. 30 with work completed Jan. 8 to May 24, 2015.

For more information visit:


The 2013 American Community Survey’s one-year statistics have been released. To find statistics for your area, please visit the Census Bureau’s American FactFinder page.
Oct 22 14

Upcoming Border to Border Broadband Conference

by Melissa
Join us for Border to Border Broadband on November 18-19, 2014 at Cragun’s Resort located near Brainerd.

Earlier this fall, over the course of three weeks, three national organizations working on driving Internet access, adoption and use came to Minnesota for major meetings. Why?

  ~ Is it because our children are above average?

  ~ Is it something in the water?

Or (more likely)… Is there something pretty exciting going on right here in the state of Minnesota? 

Come and be part of the excitement on November 18-19 at Cragun’s Resort in Brainerd. Connect with others from across the state who are doing this work. Get (re)inspired.

This year’s conference features breakout sessions so you can customize your experience. In Making Public-Private Partnerships Work!, attendees will hear from Danna MacKenzie, Executive Director of the Office of Broadband Development, and legal and financial experts talk about how to build partnerships between public entities and private sector providers. What is legal? What is smart? And what are the options for finance, ownership and operations?

Other breakout session topics include Broadband-Based Economic Development; Top-Down Apps in Education; Effective Messaging for Community Engagement; Blandin Broadband Communities Showcase; and Schools, Libraries and Technology Centers.

Visit the conference webpage for more information, including registration and the preliminary agenda.


Oct 22 14

Business Development Public Infrastructure

by Melissa

The BDPI grant program provides grants to cities and counties in Greater Minnesota of up to 50% of the capital costs of the public infrastructure necessary to expand economic development, retain or create jobs, or increase the tax base (§116J.431). Greater Minnesota cities, in particular, depend on this grant program to attract new businesses and create jobs in their communities.

The BDPI program has been used successfully over the last ten years to create jobs in Greater Minnesota. In general, the fund can be used for up to 50% of the costs for public infrastructure for economic development. Retail and housing projects are not eligible.

Here is a link to the program on the DEED website

If you have questions contact Dan Dorman or the DEED Business Development Specialist for your area, and listing of them can be found at