Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It’s been a busy week across the district. I have much to reflect and to report.
First, let me begin with acknowledging the 18th anniversary of the September 11th attacks on our nation. I read many posts and remembrances and the two things that caused me most to pause and reflect was the picture and story behind “The Falling Man” and the video images to the song “The Sound of Silence.” I hope that when we remember 9/11, we take our sorrow and channel it towards work that honors the fallen and supports our nation and our freedoms in all the best ways we can.
HEAVY RAINS CAUSE LOCAL DAMAGE
The week has ended with heavy rains that caused catastrophic damages to downtown businesses and residences in Red Wing. Red Wing got 4-5 inches of rain in less than 40 minutes. Here’s a picture of one downtown street.
I have been in close communication with both Red Wing city staff and state disaster officials. If you have concerns about any flooding damage to your business please contact Red Wing Public Works.
LOCAL AND STATE MEETINGS
The rest of the week was busy and held lots of positive conversations with many different groups. The week started with a “Red Wing” meeting day where I met with administrators at Bay View Nursing Home. They provide transitional and long- term care and also serve Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) patients. In fact, they are one of only 3 sites in the entire state to provide TBI services.
I also met with city development and housing officials to talk about our shortage of workforce housing. Thereafter, I met with the superintendent, school board and high school staff to discuss our career and technical education pathways and how the state can support these efforts. Although these may seem like distinct and separate conversations, the consistent connection to me is a strong community. The shared theme is that we all want our community to thrive. And, in my role, that means focusing on things like quality healthcare, housing availability, a strong economy and vibrant schools that provide opportunities for our young people to find their future career paths.
On Wednesday, I attended the quarterly meeting of the Governor’s Workforce Development Board. We continued to learn from various agencies about what efforts are currently in place to address workforce needs. The exciting part of the day was the debut of the state’s new on-line app: Career Force. Make sure to take a look at it when you have time by clicking here.
It is a particularly promising tool for employers, job seekers and students, as you can take an interest survey and then examine certain careers and see what training is needed, where the jobs are, and what salaries are like. Its easy for students to navigate, as they can look at tabs under career search and find a career that’s right for them. I encourage all students to create a free account!
My week ended with a “Wabasha Day.” I visited a new business and really enjoyed meeting entrepreneurs Jessica Remington and Matt Schmick and learning about their new business: Big River Kombucha.
They received both an Innovation Grant (through Red Wing Ignite) and a state grant from the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute. AURI was created by the legislature 30 years ago and tasked with developing long-term economic benefit through value-added agricultural products and processes. I’m convinced Big River Kombucha will be a success. Check them out!
I also met with the mayor and city administrator and discussed everything from dredging to daycare needs and main street development and long term community planning. Wabasha is a unique community with lots of exciting things in the works! I’m glad to be a supporter of these projects.
Lastly, as this week is designated as “National Direct Support Professionals” week, I made time to tour Wabasha’s DAC and meet some of their clients.
I also got to see a friend, Jesse, and tour his beautiful new group home and meet some of his support team from Great River Homes.
I ended the day with dinner at their Support Professionals banquet. These are dedicated people who do amazing work! I was lifted up by all of them today!
Thanks for reading and enjoy the weekend. It’s SeptOberfest in Wabasha. Lots to take in and a great family-focused event in Wabasha!
STAYING IN TOUCH
As always, if you have questions or concerns regarding any issue, please contact me. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-8635.