Series: Center of Everywhere Podcast

Ep 16: Pandemic’s impact on the rural workforce

Last week we released our report exploring how the pandemic has impacted jobs and the workforce in Rural Minnesota. And on this episode, we get to dive in a bit deeper into this topic with a couple of our Workforce Development Boards and a labor analyst with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development ...

Ep 13: The importance of rural grocery stores – Kathy Draeger, University of Minnesota Extension | Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships

Kathy Draeger, the statewide Director of the University of Minnesota Extension –  Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, wants rural communities to see their local grocery stores as the assets they are. Small town grocery stores have been facing an uphill battle against increasing competition from the big national chains. In this interview, Kathy and Julie will ...

Ep 12: Julie Ring, Association of Minnesota Counties

So just what is the Association of Minnesota Counties? Our President and CEO, Julie Tesch, talks with AMC’s Executive Director, Julie Ring, about the association that supports and advocates for Minnesota’s 87 counties. This year of Covid has been especially challenging for county governments. Julie discusses the difficult issues counties have faced and are still ...

Ep 11: CRPD Research – Census and redistricting in Rural Minnesota

On this episode Julie Tesch and Marnie Werner talk about two topics that only come around every ten years, the Census and legislative redistricting. They discuss  why redistricting is so important but has been so troublesome in Minnesota history, the role of accurate census data and how a salamander became a symbol of democracy in ...

Ep 10: CRPD Research – Volunteer Drivers

On today’s episode, we stay in-house to discuss our most recent research brief. Julie talks with our research intern Whitney Oachs and Director of Research Marnie Werner about volunteer drivers,  a little-known but essential program in rural Minnesota that helps the elderly and handicapped stay in their homes. We’ll discuss who these volunteer drivers are, ...

Ep 9: David Unmacht – League of Minnesota Cities

In this episode, we’ll be talking with Dave Unmacht, the executive director of the League of Minnesota Cities.  He’ll be sharing his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities facing Minnesota’s small towns, how uncertainty will be the defining characteristic of the next five years, and why getting involved in local government may just be the ...

Ep 8: Amanda Koonjbeharry – Citizens League

We wanted to get to know more about the Citizens League, a Twin Cities nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank that has led discussions and developed solutions to policy questions in areas like transportation, education, and infrastructure for more than sixty years. Now they would like to expand their volunteer-based model for solving problems into rural Minnesota, too, ...