Welcome to Lac qui Parle County

LqP EDA header

It All Starts with the Visit . . .  

“If you build a place where people want to visit, you’ll build a place where people want to live. And, if you build a place where people want to live, you’ll build a place where people have to work. If you build a place where people want to work, you’ll build a place where business wants to be. And, if you build a place where business wants to be, you’ll have built a place where people want to visit.”

– Maura Gast / Irving CVB

The mission of the Lac qui Parle County Economic Development Authority is to be the catalyst for economic growth, job creation, and improving the quality of life in Lac qui Parle County.

We are here to:

  • Help local businesses
  • Introduce the rest of the world to LqP
  • Support young entrepreneurs

We have a few ongoing programs:

Please contact us for more information!

Women in Agriculture meeting July 17 in Madison MN

Here is your chance to learn and share with other women involved with agriculture:

Tuesday, July 17 , 2018
5:00-7:00 pm
Lac qui Parle County Annex
Multi-Media Room
422 5th Avenue
Madison, MN

Bring a dish to share! We will provide  bottled water, plates and napkins. Bring a friend. All attendees will be entered in a drawing to win a door prize!

Contact the County for more info – 320-598-7976

Energy Savings at Home – a checklist to save energy and money

Energy Star has some great tips for saving energy and money in these hots summer weeks…

Maintenance Checklist

Maintain your equipment to prevent future problems and unwanted costs. Keep your cooling and heating system at peak performance by having a contractor do annual pre-season check-ups. Contractors get busy once summer and winter come, so it’s best to check the cooling system in the spring and the heating system in the fall. To remember, you might plan the check-ups around the time changes in the spring and fall.

A typical maintenance check-up should include the following.

  • Check thermostat settings to ensure the cooling and heating system keeps you comfortable when you are home and saves energy while you are away.
  • Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.
  • Lubricate all moving parts. Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increases the amount of electricity you use.
  • Check and inspect the condensate drain in your central air conditioner, furnace and/or heat pump (when in cooling mode). A plugged drain can cause water damage in the house and affect indoor humidity levels.
  • Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates, and shuts off properly.

Cooling Specific

  • Clean evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils. Dirty coils reduce the system’s ability to cool your home and cause the system to run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
  • Check your central air conditioner’s refrigerant level and adjust if necessary. Too much or too little refrigerant will make your system less efficient increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
  • Clean and adjust blower components to provide proper system airflow for greater comfort levels. Airflow problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent.

Heating Specific

  • Check all gas (or oil) connections, gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger. Improperly operating gas (or oil) connections are a fire hazard and can contribute to health problems. A dirty burner or cracked heat exchanger causes improper burner operation. Either can cause the equipment to operate less safely and efficiently.

Actions To Do Yourself

  • Inspect, clean, or change air filters once a month in your central air conditioner, furnace, and/or heat pump. Your contractor can show you how to do this. A dirty filter can increase energy costs and damage your equipment, leading to early failure.

The job market is good for job seekers

New graduate? Getting back into the workforce? Looking for a job upgrade? The Minneapolis Star Tribune has some good news…

There has seldom been a better time to go job hunting, particularly for new graduates and entry-level workers.

After many recessionary years of clawbacks and wage reductions when the employed were grateful even to have jobs, job seekers now find employers fighting to hire them. Wages are inching up — not enough, and not in all sectors, but it’s happening. Earlier this year a survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses showed that more than 30 percent of small businesses reported paying higher wages. Average U.S. hourly pay has risen nearly 3 percent, the biggest jump in nearly a decade.

To their delight, students looking for summer jobs have found plenty, many paying well above minimum wage and some even accompanied by modest benefit packages.

Particularly for workers just starting out, this may be the best labor market since the 1990s, said Steve Hine, director of labor market information for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. “We’re at 3.1 percent unemployment. For workers, we’re moving into a sellers’ market in a way we haven’t seen before.”

Thriving by Design Conference this week!

We will be at the Thriving by Design conference this week. We’re very excited and so apparently is the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Here’s what they had to say about it…

Nearly every community in Minnesota is looking for ways to benefit from the momentous and accelerating statewide shift to local and renewable energy. Wind and sun are particularly abundant in our southwest corner, and the Southwest RDC is out front guiding the transition. It has helped develop a unique Property Assessed Clean Energy program that allows businesses and farmers to find upfront capital by borrowing against future tax assessments. SRDC also has been a leader of an innovative, new 18-county Rural Minnesota Energy Board, and it works closely with the highly effective statewide Clean Energy Resource Teams, which are helping build a growing list of certified rural “Green Step” cities.

Affordable housing in the Headwaters

Consensus is overwhelming that an affordable-housing shortage is hindering rural economic development, and the Headwaters RDC in the north-central region is among the most creative and ambitious players filling that need. Among initiatives: partnerships with both the Bemidji and Blackduck high schools in which students learn construction trades and actually build a house every year; building affordable multiple-family housing; providing financing to restore substandard single-family units; offering down-payment assistance; and delivering a Home Stretch program that helps low-income folks on the path to homeownership.

Highways, mobility and safe routes in the Arrowhead

Rural Minnesota desperately needs a major transportation funding package to improve highways and bridges, but many regions are as focused as urban communities on transit service and mobility, also promoting the health benefits of walking and bicycling. The Arrowhead RDC in northeastern Minnesota is a leader in developing the Safe Routes to School program and promoting projects that emphasize an active-living approach, with positive impact on both health and natural-resource preservation. The RDC is also helping develop scenic byways to take advantage of the region’s traditional allure to tourists and vacationers, including a lesser-known Avenue of the Pines route from Deer River to Northome.

Equity and welcoming in South Central

Growing racial diversity in this region is offsetting white population loss and aging trends, filling labor demands and lowering the average age in some counties. Thanks to a large Latino workforce, for instance, St. James and Watonwan County now rank among the most diverse places in Minnesota. In alignment with the DevelopMN strategy to “embrace emerging populations” as assets, Region Nine in south-central Minnesota is building a framework for more inclusive and welcoming communities. In 2018, in partnership with the Greater Mankato Diversity Council and the University of Minnesota’s Center for Community Vitality, Region Nine launched a seven-month project convening 45 entities from five communities to explore best practices and, through education and relationship-building, to facilitate community action.

Further exploration of DevelopMN strategies will be a focus of a June 27-29 gathering in Granite Falls called “Thriving by Design: Rural and Urban Together,” to which the public has been invited; space is still available. The event is being organized by Growth & Justice and OneMN.org, a statewide business-minded coalition of leaders working toward racial equity and keeping Minnesota “open, inclusive, welcoming, innovative and creative.”

We know that candidates, news media and social media in coming months are likely to feature divisive issues, regional enmity and simplistic solutions. But we also know there is an emerging private-public-nonprofit sector consensus around attractiveness and place-making as an essential theme for a comprehensive “One Minnesota” development strategy.

Critical Business Transitions Business Owner Seminar – July 10

“Critical Business Transitions”
Business Owner Seminar
Tuesday, July 10th
8:30 to 11:30am
1707 Technology Drive NE, Willmar MN 56201

Register now!

Business owners go through many different types of critical transitions. How do you navigate the decisions, changes, and events that come across your path? This seminar features critical, up-to-date information and resources from experts in the education, business consulting, and investment banking fields working across all industries and regions in Minnesota. You’ll walk away with current market data for Minnesota businesses, some resources to guide you, and an introduction to best practices for accessing these resources.

Madison Area ministerium collecting food for backpacks for kids

We wanted to share this invitation from Pastor Spickelmier…

Back in 1995 a school nurse in Little Rock, Arkansas contacted the local food bank seeking help for children in her school who were suffering from hunger. She had seen for herself how food scarcity apart from cafeteria lunches was affecting their physical health, classroom behavior and ability to learn. In response to her concerns, the food shelf started the Food for Kids program, providing hungry students in that school with groceries for the weekend in non-descript backpacks. Since 1995, thousands of such backpack food programs have been launched in the United States.  The Madison Area ministerium (a monthly gathering of our area’s pastors) is interested in seeing this program begun in our community as well.

Roughly 40-45% of our school age children in Madison (K through 12) qualify for the federal free and reduced lunch program.  While the students have access to breakfast and lunch at school (and a summertime food program as well) there is no current help for them over the weekend or over Christmas and Spring Break.  This is where the backpack program would come in.

An informational meeting for anyone who might be interested in being involved in this program is going to be held Tuesday, June 26 at 7pm at the Madison Nursing Home chapel.  The goal is to have the program up and running by this coming school year.

Needs will include:  funds to purchase the food, purchasers, packers, people to deliver the food to the schools, and people to sit on a what will be a newly created “backpack program board”.

We encourage anyone interested in this program to attend the upcoming meeting.  Contact Pastor Eric if you have questions.

The Hemp Consortium presents the LqP Summer 2018 Summer Hemp Conference

UPDATE – the conference has been postponed due to conflict. We will get back soon with more details.

July 23, 2018
Madison Minnesota
Register now!

INDUSTRIAL HEMP DAY CLASS

FARM TO MARKET STRATEGIES FOR YOUR COMMUNITY

This class is tailored to communities who want to invest in Industrial Hemp. Farmers, investors and government planners would benefit from the course.

We review farming and necessary changes to make your farm viable for hemp. Processing plants and acreage to supply a facility, legal issues, insurance, financing and more.

The class is more in-depth in order to help community leaders decide if they should take the next step.

Class schedule subject to change based on the needs of the community. If you don’t see a schedule that works for you, contact us and we will put a program together for your area.

Group discounts available.