Off-The-Cuff

March marks the beginning of March Madness. As always, the Editor has completely unrealistic aspirations for his Dayton Flyers. My best goes out to your favorite team—unless that team plays UD, of course. Buckle your seatbelts and away we go…

As for this issue, the Editor personally knows Floyd Palmer perhaps better than anyone outside his immediate family. He and I have collaborated on several projects: for example, I helped him write his autobiography. Normally I avoid even the appearance of a quid pro quo like the plague and won’t feature people with whom I have strong outside-the-magazine connections. But Floyd’s powerful story seemed too valuable to deny readers. I trust you agree…

In January, the Editor had an opportunity to hear human resources managers from 3M and Kraft New Ulm address the student body of New Ulm Alternative Learning Center, which serves about 80 students in grades 7-12. Brian Tohal of New Ulm Economic Development Corporation also offered his two cents. In summary, the 3M and Kraft New Ulm presenters said “dependability” was perhaps the most desirable trait an applicant could demonstrate in a job interview. I have heard this from several other business leaders inside our reading area. In addition, the presenters pined about job applicants bringing cell phones to interviews, using racy or obscene email addresses, and talking down former employers…

From the December 27 Faribault County Register: Singleteary Foods Solutions had moved into the former Wells Co-Pack Foods plant and should employ up to 250 people in two years. This was great economic news for the region. According to a Wells EDA spokesperson quoted in the Register, the plant became a reality due in part to $100,000 in help from Faribault County EDA, $150,000 from Wells EDA, and a $500,000 loan from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The deal closer, though, said the Wells spokesperson, likely was Gov. Pawlenty’s JOBZ program. Wrote the Register: “Because Singleteary is utilizing JOBZ, the company would pay a wage and benefits that total nearly $12 an hour.”…

Here comes one item not making this issue’s Business Trends section. From the Fedgazette: A recent Minnesota Office of Higher Education report revealed that while Minnesota fall college enrollment rates for graduating high school seniors increased from 65 percent to 70 percent from 2003-08, out-of-state colleges appear to have taken all the increased growth. The percentage of high school graduates choosing in-state colleges remained steady at 51 percent, which is good news; but the percentage choosing out-of-state increased from 14.7 to 19.4 percent. No matter how you slice this pie, it’s highly discouraging seeing a brain drain of potential employees and entrepreneurs…

Locally, the Editor queried Keith Stover, president, and Dena Colemer, research and planning director, both of South Central College. Colemer said in a Connect Business Magazine telephone interview: “The (Minnesota Office of Higher Education) report indicated the vast majority of students looking for an out-of-state college are interested in a (four-year) university. I don’t believe those students would be looking at South Central College. They are looking for a public or private (four-year) education from the get-go.”…


Only 3.2 percent of students going out-of-state enrolled in two-year colleges. The ten most popular out-of-state schools for our high school seniors were North Dakota State University (1,349), University of North Dakota (840), University of Wisconsin-Madison (801), University of Wisconsin-River Falls (624), University of Wisconsin-Stout (569), Iowa State University (487), University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (471), South Dakota State (400), Luther College (245), and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (217). About 12,600 Minnesota high school seniors left the state in 2008. Surprisingly, most of the growth from 2006 to 2008 can be attributed to students enrolling at NDSU, where the number of Minnesotans rose from 957 to 1,349. It would appear NDSU has made targeting Minnesota high school students a top priority…

Headed toward Belle Plaine in early February, the Editor and family decided to detour through Henderson. Of all cities in the Connect Business Magazine reading area, Henderson-on-the-Minnesota may have the most natural beauty and distinctive flavor. It reminds the Editor of an emerging Ellicott City, Maryland, with its quaint shops, imposing hills, snakelike river, restored buildings, and small-town feel—the latter a natural for 900-resident Henderson…

A final note: As for this winter’s frigid arctic weather, don’t become too discouraged. Spring should arrive soon, and with it, warmer temperatures and retail sales. To cheer up, I have been regularly going to YouTube and entering “Minnesotans for Global Warming Song.” You’ll either get a rise or have fun with it. Until next time…

Daniel Vance

Daniel Vance

A former Editor of Connect Business Magazine

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