Interning for the Community Development Department at the City of Coon Rapids during the last few months as been a rewarding experience. As someone who is fairly new to the economic development field, I learned a lot about how economic development is done in a large suburb. I learned how important it is to have updated and accurate data available to business owners, real estate brokers, elected officials, and the public when attracting and maintaining businesses. As an intern, I was responsible for putting together the data and materials for economic development quarterly and annual reports, the Business Update newsletter, business welcome packets, the industrial building inventory, and the City’s demographic page. Through gathering information to complete these tasks, I gained experience using local and national data sources that I will likely continue to use in the future. I also learned a lot about the comprehensive plan update process and found that almost every topic in it relates to economic development. Having a strong plan for the future has impacts on a city’s economic well-being and quality of life. As an intern, I got a firsthand look at how a Twin Cities metro area city conducts a comprehensive plan process. I am lucky to have been involved in every part of the process from the review of the Metropolitan Council’s requirements to public outreach, to the drafting phase. Overall, I really enjoyed my time at the City of Coon Rapids and gained valuable experiences that I know I will use as I continue my planning career.
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