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Nov 1 17

Open Position-Community Development Specialist

by Melissa

 Regional Community Development Specialist

Are you interested in work that makes a difference in rural Minnesota? Anxious to apply what you know in new ways? Interested in doing something you are passionate about and seeing that work through to completion? If so, we want YOU to join our small, creative, professional team!

The Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (UMVRDC) is looking for an energetic community development planner who would develop and manage diverse programs and 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.

Candidates that are passionate about their work, who are curious to find options and solutions for locally identified issues, and who relish in the idea of working on a diverse portfolio of work are ideal for this position. Employees who demonstrate strong initiative and character will have opportunities for growth!

Join an office culture that has great flexibility to achieve your ideal work/life balance. Join the office wellness committee to plan monthly office health challenges. Want to work from home? Use our office technology to stay connected. Desire to share what you learn or are working on? Help plan the next lunch and learn for employees. Join the fun committee to propose the next employee team building event.  Be a part of a team who is pioneering rural practices and tactics inside our office and in the communities we work with.

Want to learn more about our agency or the region? Check out our agency hiring video; the UMVRDC or Western Minnesota Prairie Waters websites; or search for UMVRDC, Prairie Waters, or Get Rural MN on Facebook; or review our most recent annual report.

Preferred education includes a degree in planning, urban studies, recreation planning, public administration, project management, geography, environmental studies, economics, political science or a related field.

Occasional night meetings and regular travel is required.

Valid Class D Driver’s License required.

Fluency in English language sufficient to communicate effectively with internal/external stakeholders and public both verbally and in writing

All finalists considered will be subject to a criminal background check.

2-5 years of relevant work preferred.

Salary: $44,000-$62,000 depending on experience.  $1,000 signing incentive! PLUS cash retention incentives.

GREAT BENEFIT PACKAGE! Benefits include employer paid health insurance and family coverage cost sharing, dental, significant health savings account employer contributions, pre-tax flexible spending account, tax deferred retirement savings programs, life insurance, PERA, 10 paid holidays, generous paid vacation, sick, parental leave and more.

Examples of work responsibilities:

  1. Establish and implement annual goals, strategies for the agency and community development program.
  2. Research, write, and implement grants.
  3. Create project proposals and contracts.
  4. Regularly report program progress to individual local units of government, regional development commission board, and other local committees as determined.
  5. Work with city, county, tribal, school district, township, state and federal agency staff in developing and implementing projects.
  6. Work on projects in both an individual and team environment.
  7. Coordinate and facilitate public meetings or leading public engagement processes.
  8. Utilize GIS technology for planning, research and analysis.
  9. Demonstrate strong oral and written communications skills, including those related to collaboration, influencing, relationship building and strategic integrative thinking
  10. Promote the utilization of services at the UMVRDC through various means of community outreach (web, email, mail, personal visits, newsletters, press releases).
  11. Utilize strong computer based skills (MS Office, Adobe Creative Suite, Access, social media) to write and develop technical professional plans, reports, and documents.
  12. Researching, compiling and analyzing data.
  13. Develop and implement community surveys.
  14. Primary responsibilities will be in transportation planning and working with MnDOT, cities, and counties with road, bridge, rail, trail planning and funding. Other work areas will be assigned and may include project development and management in the following topic areas:
  1. Strategic planning
  2. Comprehensive Plans
  3. Zoning
  4. Hazard mitigation
  5. Safe Routes to School Plans
  6. Renewable energy
  7. Economic development
  8. Capital Improvement Plans
  9. Broadband
  10. Housing
  11. Recreation development

The following additional resources are available for this position:

The UMVRDC utilizes a three-part candidate screening process:

  1. Candidates submit application and cover letter showcasing how their education and experience fits the available position. This information should be sent to:

UMVRDC Executive Director
323 West Schlieman Avenue
Appleton, MN 56208

2. Select candidates will be asked to provide responses to a list of areas of expertise related to this position.

3. Select candidates are interviewed

This position will remain open until filled.
The UMVRDC is an equal opportunity employer



Nov 1 17

The Bikeable Community Workshop Application –  Open!

by Melissa

The Bikeable Community Workshop Application –  Open!

This  workshop trains local, county and regional staff, community leaders and advocates on how to plan and support more Bike Friendly Communities to encourage more people to be on bikes more often in Minnesota. Through discussion, presentations and a short on-bike mobile workshop, participants assess their community’s bicycle facilities to base an action plan on.

Application Due: Friday December 1st

Application and Workshop Planning Guide  Details here:

Bikeable Community Workshops – Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota

A Bikeable Community Workshop trains community leaders and advocates on how to plan and support more Bike Friendly Communities.

Oct 23 17

Office Closed-Thanksgiving Holiday

by Melissa

The UMVRDC will be closed November 23 & 24, 2017 in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Have a safe & wonderful holiday with family & friends.

Oct 23 17

Office Closed-November 10, 2017

by Melissa

The UMVRDC will be closed in observance of Veteran’s Day on Friday, November 10th.

Oct 12 17

Walk to School Day – Dawson

by Melissa

On Wednesday, Oct 4, 2017 UMVRDC staff joined Mayor Randy Tensen, Dawson Sentinel Newspaper editor Dave Hickey and over 170 Dawson-Boyd students and teaching staff to celebrate Fall Walk to School Day. Local students walked and bicycled to school and children who rode the bus to school walked three laps around the school to get their exercise (and burn off extra energy before their morning classes). Bottled water and granola bars for fuel were donated by Tim’s Food Pride and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) provided stickers as a reward for the student participants.

Walk to School Day provides students and families the opportunity to reconnect with the simple joys of walking to school while reaping the benefits of increased physical activity, reduced traffic congestion, and arriving at school ready to learn. Minnesota Safe Routes to School is an effort to improve walking and bicycling conditions for our youth and encourage more active lifestyles. The Minnesota Department of Transportation along with many other partners across the state are working together to help schools and communities develop Safe Routes to School programs.

To learn more about Minnesota’s Safe Routes to School Program visit

The Dawson-Boyd School District worked with the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (UMVRDC) in 2013 to assist with creating a Safe Routes to School plan for Stevens Elementary to identify community needs and priorities, and recommend steps to remedy existing problems and accomplish community goals and objectives. The completed plan can be found on the UMVRDC website at