This past August I met with travel writer, Berit Thorkelson and gave her the "Prohibition Story" tour of the Volstead House and downtown. She and her family stayed one night at Prairie's Edge Casino and the second night in a tipi at Upper Sioux Agency State Park. Over the weekend, she crammed in as many visits to local businesses and restaurants as possible. I was excited to see the results in the most recent issue of Minnesota Monthly Magazine! Granite Falls is featured as Minnesota Monthly's city of the month! It was exciting to see the article in print taking up three pages of the back of the magazine!
See what Berit had to say about her visit to Granite Falls - http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/Travel-Outdoors/Minnesota-Travel-Regions/Southern-Minnesota/Granite-Falls-is-Rock-Steady/index.php?&mode=print
This week, we are featuring our newest chamber member, Connect Hearing, located at 761 Prentice St., Suite 3 in downtown Granite Falls.
The Granite Falls Connect Hearing clinic offers a no-cost hearing screening, as well as free two week hearing aid trials! This short, easy screening will confirm the health of your hearing. If it shows you can benefit from hearing technology, your highly qualified hearing care professional will guide you through solutions customized for your lifestyle and budget. We have a two-person staff consisting of a licensed Audiologist, Gina Kontz, M.A., who has over 20 years of experience, and her Patient Care Coordinator, Christina Enger, who has over 5 years of health care experience. Connect Hearing is open Monday through Friday from 8:30-5. Please call if you have questions or to set up an appointment at 320-564-0066.
The latest technology for hearing aids is available right here in Granite Falls!
Historically, Granite Falls ACMC was the only clinic in Granite Falls. They joined with other area clinics to form a multi-specialty health network in West Central and Southwest Minnesota with over 180 physicians and advanced practice providers in 40 specialty areas. ACMC is committed to improving the health of our communities and maintaining its role as the healthcare leader of choice. They have a great Facebook page that features employees of the month, events and new employees, follow them to keep updated. www.facebook.com/acmchealth. ACMC-Granite Falls has three family medicine physicians, a nurse practitioner and a physician assistant. They serve the 25-bed Granite Falls Municipal Hospital and neighboring 57-bed Medicare certified skilled care Granite Falls Manor.
The physicians at ACMC are Darrell L. Carter, MD; Mark W. Eakes, MD, MPH; James R. Nedurd, PA-C: Magdalena L. Pietka, MD; and Arthur J. Rillo, MD; as well as advanced practice provider Shannon L. Slagter, RN, CNP. Great access to health care sets Granite Falls apart as a rural community and makes us a prime location for retirees and new residents.
It's all about art this fall! The weekend of September 29, 30 and October 1 is the regional self-guided “trip on a tank full” tour of artist studios, galleries and shops along the upper Minnesota River featuring nearly 40 artisans in 30 studios from Dawson to Montevideo and Ortonville to Granite Falls and all points in between. If you haven't participated, make plans to visit some of the studios along this route. It's a beautiful fall drive that takes you off the beaten path to some fun, rural locations. Get your brochures at the chamber office or download online at http://www.artsmeander.com/. Every year, the Meander committee keeps track of the visitor numbers and money spent through their "passport" program that gets stamped at each location. And every year the numbers increase. It's a great boost for our local economy including motels, restaurants, museums and other shops as well as the participating studios. Get your tickets for Musical Chairs on Meander Friday Night, September 29, at the chamber office or online. This year the progressive dinner will start out at the plaza next to the footbridge with live music. Tickets that include details and timing of the music and locations will be sold for all the food courses rather than pay as you go, cost is $28. At the same location on September 29 will be the first event of our public art project from 4-7:30 PM. The public is welcome to bring a small treasure such as shells, rocks, pieces of dishes, jewelry to place in a mosaic that will be a part of the River Voices project. Here is the drawing of the mural which will be located on the outside stairway next to the footbridge.
Thank you for choosing Granite Falls as your meeting location, it was great to host the statewide meeting of the Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) and hear about all your great projects in our area.
We know that we live in a beautiful place with lots of activities to keep us busy. Potential employees that live in other areas or the metro need to be convinced of that to accept a job position in our area. Recruitment is one of the biggest problems facing our employers. Last week, I attended a seminar hosted by the Southwest Initiative Foundation addressing these problems.
There were many tips that employers can use in just forming the job description. Especially, when recruiting millennials, the new employee wants to know more about the company and the potential for growth, company culture and untraditional benefits like being able to bring your pet to work or a volunteer program. Many companies already have these programs but neglect to describe them on their website or in the job description. Social media is another wonderful way a company can describe its culture, show candid photos of employees at work and give the viewer an idea of what it’s like to work there.
Granite Falls Health is a fitting example of this and they’re local. They have a Facebook page where they feature employees of the month, events at the Care Center as well as their job postings. Their job postings also describe their philosophy and mission. Facebook now has a jobs feature that’s free to use. If you just start typing in a post that mentions hiring or job, this will pop up and a form is there to fill out. Your job will then appear in the searchable jobs feature on Facebook.
At the SWIF meeting, I also learned how to promote the job listing targeting potential employees in certain geographic areas. You can also narrow it down even more by looking at certain type of training, past experiences and those people who have been laid off a similar job. Posting videos of current employees describing the work environment and benefits is another terrific way to get your message out. If you need help with any of these ideas, contact me at the chamber office. I have experience with targeting paid ads on Facebook, help with promoting your business or event, and help set up job postings.
Granite Falls hosted the statewide meeting of the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Partnerships this past week. The group began at Memorial Park with a planned picnic, music and boat rides on the river. Patrick Moore presented Minnesota River history and Audrey Arner introduced the "water blessing event." However, the weather moved most of the evening into the Legion where the group enjoyed a dinner and entertainment by Jerry Ostensoe. The main event on Wednesday at the American Legion started with a welcome by Granite Falls Mayor, Dave Smiglewski as well as Mary Gillespie, Chamber Director and David Fluegel, head of the Southwest division. Lunch featured local foods and was catered by Donna Grieger, the fantastic cook at the Legion. A lunchtime visit to the Farmer's Market right outside the Legion was included in the schedule.
Every year, this meeting is in a different section of the state and features the projects the partnership has been working on in that area. The southwest area had a variety of interesting projects including Fairmont Market Square design, Clean Energy Projects, Sustainable Agriculture Case Study Research and website, Deep Winter Greenhouses and explanation of how the Center for Small Towns in Morris operates.
Milan's micronesian population was the focus of a housing project and the topic of a project by Vincente Diaz, a Filipino-Phnpeian scholar and writer from Guam. He explained the long history of navigation by Micronesian people using outrigger canoes. The project is to celebrate the Micronesian population in Milan using this history of the outriggers with the addition of Viking and Native American canoes on the Minnesota River.
Another highlight was a performance by Unspoken Voices - Social Justine Art Troupe. This volunteer theater group visits schools and colleges to increase awareness of bullying, sex violence and other social problems.
The meeting ended with a tour of the new Pioneer Public TV building. The University of Minnesota's Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and the Center for Small Towns in Morris are programs that are available to organizations, businesses and local governments. It was very informative to see examples of the work they do and learn more about their programs - great ideas to help our rural economy.