Top 3 Vibrant Communities | May 16 – 20
May 20, 2016 by Blandin Foundation
1. Virginia: Birthplace of the organization known as “Iron Range Makerspace”, Virginia’s community college helped spring up an area asset. While the concept of a “makerspace” is a growing trend worldwide, Andrew Hanegmon is attempting to apply it locally. IRM is in the business of providing local entrepreneurs access to space, tools and community. What originally began as a senior project for his engineering degree at Mesabi Range College, has evolved into something much more for Andrew—and it’s something that’s sparking a lot of hope for ‘da Range as a whole.
“We’ve got a lot of entrepreneurs who don’t network and it’s hard to connect with people. We all work with our hands; we’re all using the same tools. That’s not logical. What we can instead do is have one facility where we pay a monthly fee and then have access to tons of equipment, lots of space, etc. At the makerspace, we hope to have an automotive bay, laser engravers, and carpentry shop. In addition to that, we’re looking to have a commercial kitchen, a stage area so people can do events, classrooms so people can teach workshops, and conference rooms.”
2. Hill City: $17 million worth of Small Cities Development funding has been awarded statewide and Hill City has landed a piece of the pie. This program is helping to build healthy and thriving communities throughout Minnesota. Cities and townships with populations under 50,000 and counties with populations under 200,000 are eligible for grants under the program. Projects must be completed within 30 months, depending on size and scope. Back in February, the city finalized its application and much to their delight—were awarded everything that they had asked for.
“Sometimes, everything comes together as it should,” added Grabko of the application process. “And, driving through the city, it is obvious that this is needed.”
3. Itasca County: Last week, at the Old Central School in Grand Rapids, Itasca County continued its quasquicentennial (‘kwos-kwi-sen-ten-ee-uhl’ or more simply put, 125 year anniversary) by cracking open one of its four buried time capsules. Inside there were car catalogues from 1991, yearbooks from Itasca schools, letters and even an intact bottle of wine! The celebration will be continuing throughout the summer and the time capsule is scheduled to go back into the ground on June 11. This series of community events is a great way to recall our vibrant history and strengthen our Itascan bonds.
Tags: Community leadership
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