We believe our communities are strongest when all people can fully participate in our region’s opportunities. Southwest Minnesota is home to a strong entrepreneurial spirit, safe communities, high-quality schools and early childhood supports, and high civic participation and volunteerism. We know we have work to do in ensuring all southwest Minnesotans experience real inclusion, equity and access to opportunities.
We put our mission – connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities – into practice every day to make this vision a reality.
Our work can look different from one program, partnership or place to another. Our organizational values guide our work and ensure we bring the same care and commitment to every interaction.
We are a human-centered organization and acknowledge that people have different needs and aspirations.
We commit to removing barriers that prevent full participation in southwest Minnesota’s abundant opportunities.
We use our resources to create opportunities for all people to thrive in the communities they call home.
We are accountable for our words and actions.
We are trustworthy, fair and respectful.
We embrace courageous leadership required to live out our mission.
We continuously seek to expand both personal and organizational knowledge, and we are willing to take healthy risks in pursuit of big ideas.
We are open and responsive to immediate opportunities and challenges.
We approach problem solving through a deliberate process that relies on experience and experimentation.
We treat our colleagues, partners and communities with empathy and respect.
We approach our role in collaborative processes with humility, hospitality and heart.
We openly share what we learn.
We aspire to achieve great things in our region.
We are uniquely positioned to take a strategic and long-term view.
We start with what works and build on the assets in our organization and communities.
Who we serve -
With rolling prairies, the historic Minnesota River Valley and some of the richest farmland in the world, southwest Minnesota is unique. Our region borders South Dakota and Iowa, and it encompasses Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties as well as the Lower Sioux Indian Community and Upper Sioux Community.
We’re home to incredible people. There are 280,000 of us representing dozens of ethnic backgrounds. We’re known for our strong work ethic, spirit of innovation and sense of community. Communities range in size from 50 to 20,000, and immigrants are contributing to our region’s vibrancy and growth.
Shortages of skilled workers, housing and childcare are huge issues facing our region. We’re helping local communities and businesses find solutions through our economic development work.
Like much of the U.S., youth poverty is a growing problem here. One in six southwest Minnesota kids lives in poverty. We launched Grow Our Own to reverse the trend.
We believe our communities are strongest when all people can fully participate in our region’s opportunities. Southwest Minnesota is home to a strong entrepreneurial spirit…