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Ep. 20: Research discussion on child care research with Marnie Werner

This episode is a discussion with Marnie Werner who just published a new research report looking into rural child care. In this interview we speak about the current lack of availability of child care slots , the challenges center based care face in rural Minnesota, and some of the community-level solutions that has Marnie excited. ...
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Disruptions in child care access show its importance to the economy

By Marnie Werner, Vice President, Research & Operations A lack of reliable child care was the single biggest problem for employees in America before the pandemic. Now, as parents head back to work, they will be looking for child care, whether it’s with their old provider or a new one, and that will drive up ...

Brownfield: Pandemic Brings Attention to Rural Broadband Deficiencies

EXCERPT: “Broadband access remains insufficient for many in rural America. And northern Minnesota cow/calf rancher Miles Kuschel tells Brownfield the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the issue. ‘If it’s given us an insight into one thing, it’s the absolute need for high-speed broadband across all of Rural America. Whether it’s distance learning, telemedicine, Zoom conferences or annual ...

Alexandria Echo Press: Minnesota Energy Assistance Program doubles crisis benefits

EXCERPT: “Following the February arctic blast, the Minnesota Department of Commerce will increase the maximum annual crisis benefit for qualifying households from $600 to $1,200. The Energy Assistance Program crisis benefits can be used for covering past-due utility bills, utility disconnections and emergency fuel deliveries, according to a Department of Commerce news release. The program ...

Ep. 19: Homelessness in rural MN, with Rhonda Otteson

On this week’s episode, Julie talks with Rhonda Otteson, Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, about homelessness in rural Minnesota. It’s easy to overlook since homelessness doesn’t always look the way we think it should. Rhonda and Julie discuss the many hidden factors that put people at risk for homelessness, why the housing situation in Greater ...

Finance & Commerce: Rebuilding in Greater Minnesota

EXCERPT: “Like many Minnesota communities, the southwest Minnesota town of Windom has a shortage of homes for sale at a time when more housing is needed to keep businesses and the local economy humming. Homes for workers are at a premium, but the Cottonwood County city of 4,400 residents needs to expand and preserve its housing ...

Engagement, racial justice, and rural Minnesota

By Whitney Oachs, CRPD research intern Last summer the Center for Rural Policy reported a “sea change in engagement” after racial justice protests were held in rural communities across the state following the death of George Floyd. Though more attention has been paid to these protests in urban environments, towns as small as Grand Marais ...

Child care in rural Minnesota after 2020 – webinar

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Last year finally brought into sharp focus just how important child care is to maintaining a functioning economy. As we noted in our original report on child care, “A Quiet Crisis,” in nearly 80% of Minnesota families, all parents work, and child care issues are the primary cause of absenteeism among American workers. Child care ...