My internship experience with the City of Coon Rapids showed me the practice of economic development in action. After learning about economic (re)development theories at the University of Iowa, I had the chance to help the city with its comprehensive planning efforts, work on a grant application, and business outreach and retention efforts. I learned about various funding opportunities and strategies for economic development in Minnesota and got to meet other professionals at the EDAM conference in Duluth this past June. The connections and skills gained this summer will hopefully allow me to return to Minnesota to start my career in planning and economic development.
Menno’s projects included the following:
- Updated demographic, workforce, and transportation information on the economic development pages of the City’s web site to provide clear and concise data for business owners and real estate brokers. Used ESRI Business Analyst and other data sources.
- Improved the display of available commercial and industrial property on the City’s web site.
- Updated background information as part of the City’s comprehensive plan update. This included researching Metropolitan Council requirements, updating demographic information and drafting a narrative.
- Completed an application for Metropolitan Council funding for the City’s comprehensive plan update, which will include a strong economic development component.
- Conducted research on economic development commissions and advisory groups.
- Conducted an inventory of and summarized environmental documentation for a redevelopment site.
- Compiled the city’s quarterly and annual reports on development activity and economic indicators.
- Assisted in developing performance measures related to economic development as part of a broader City initiative.
- Completed the Metropolitan Council’s annual survey on affordable housing production.
- Drafted the summer edition of the City’s Business Update newsletter.
- Tracked new and expanding businesses, mailed business welcome packets, and updated the City’s business directory.
- Compiled documentation for a housing TIF project.