July 2013– Volume XI, Number 7

Compiled and edited by Deb Miller-Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

Across the Field: Reflections from our global correspondent, Ann Treacy

Last month I attended the TED Global conference in Edinburgh, Scotland – 5 intense days of live TED Talks capped off by nights of meeting interesting people. (If you don’t know TED, it’s worth checking out!) Topics run the gamut from a women’s marathon in Beirut to organically growth leather but there were a couple of themes that emerged.

The world is going urban. A couple speakers mentioned that in 15 years, 70 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. We see some of the impact of population density and shifts today. Teddy Cruz talks about how immigrants from Tijuana are repurposing homes and other objects in San Diego to meet their needs. Andreas Raptopoulos talks about using drones to courier items from one skyscraper to another to speeds access and reduces road travel.

In a completely different direction, George Monbiot talks about rewilding urban areas, reintroducing plants and animals to restore balance in nature and excitement in our daily lives. Marla Spivak (from the U of M) invites us to plant flowers to help reduce the dramatic drop in bee population. Kate Groch talks about how technology will help rural Africa revolutionize education.

There was also a focus on health. Kelly McGonigal talks about how stress isn’t so bad, unless you think it is. Sandra Aamodt talks about eating mindfully and changing our food environment to eat better. Russel Foster talks about sleep – we need more of it!

I’m slowly but surely writing up notes from the conference. If you had time for just one, very touching talk, check out Joseph Kim and the family he lost in North Korea.

Ann Treacy is the owner and founder of Treacy Information Services. She can be reached at atreacy@treacyinfo.com.

FUNDING

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of Minnesota has issued a Request for Proposals for the Connect for Health program. Up to 10 grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded for projects designed to build social connectedness and improve health in low-income communities. Direct health care services are ineligible. Proposals are due July 18.

MNsure, Minnesota’s health insurance exchange, is accepting applications to its new Outreach and Infrastructure Consumer Assistance Partner Grant Program. A wide variety of entities are eligible to apply to provide outreach and/or establish infrastructure for in-person application and enrollment assistance. Applications due by July 19th.

Jerome Foundation Announces Minnesota Film and Video Program.  The 2013 Minnesota Film and Video Grant Program will award grants to emerging film and videomakers in the disciplines of experimental, narrative, documentary, and animated film and video making. Online applications must be submitted prior to 4:30 pm on July 19, 2013. Jerome Foundation is holding two educational workshops about this program on June 20 and July 9; attendance is strongly encouraged.  Go to: http://www.jeromefdn.org/apply/start

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced the availability of funds for assistance under the Rural Veterans Coordination pilot. This program seeks applicants who will assist veterans and their families transitioning from military to civilian life in rural or underserved communities. Deadline to apply: 7/19/2013. Click here to get an application.

–The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies for projects that provide an alternative for runaway and homeless youth who might otherwise end up in the law enforcement, child welfare, mental health, or juvenile justice systems. Deadline: 7/22/2013. Click here for an application and more information.

USDA Rural Utilities Service has announced the availability of grant funds for nonprofits to establish lending programs for homeowners to borrow up to $11,000 to construct or repair household water wells for an existing home. Deadline: 7/26/2013. For more information, click here.

The Heinz Endowments are offering grants in five program areas: arts & culture, children, youth & families, education, environment, and community & economic development. Deadline: 8/1/2013. To review the organization’s guidelines, click here.

–Headwaters Foundation is seeking applications from Native organizations in Minnesota and Wisconsin for grants of up to $10,000 for programs that address issues of racial, social, economic, and environmental justice. Deadline: 8/1/2013. For more information on the Foundation and this opportunity, click here.

USDA Rural Housing Service is offering Section 533 Housing Preservation Grants to nonprofit and public agencies to enable very low and low-income rural homeowners to repair and rehabilitate their homes. Deadline to apply: 8/2/2013. Click here for more information and an application.

–The Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health seeks applications for small grant projects in either (1) basic and applied research addressing agricultural safety and health priority issues, needs or gaps; or (2) community partnerships using outreach, education and translation of evidence-based methods to prevent agricultural injury and illness among agricultural workers. Applications are due August 5.

The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to reduce domestic and family violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth and adults. Deadline: 8/6/2013. For an application, click here.

–Walmart Foundation is offering grants to nonprofits in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico for programs in education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, health, and hunger relief.  Deadline: 8/9/2013. Grants range from $25,000 to $250,000. To learn more about the Foundation and these grants, click here.

–The Corporation for National and Community Service has announced the RSVP 2014 Notice of Funding Opportunity. The competition is expected to yield more than 92,000 senior volunteers who will serve in CNCS focus areas. The 2014 RSVP NOFO, FAQs, and additional information are available at: www.nationalservice.gov/RSVPCompetition.  Letters of intent to apply are due on August 9, 2013.  The deadline for applications is Tuesday, September 10, 2013, at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. – See more at: http://tinyurl.com/mlwkp7h

–The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program has issued its FY2013 Notice of Funding, Application Guide and related resources. Eligible applicants must operate a rural community facility or deliver telemedicine or distance learning services to an organization that operates such a facility. Applications are due August 12.

– Application materials for the Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program (MN SLRP) are now available. The program provides funds for repayment of qualifying educational loans of up to $20,000 annually for full-time primary care providers and up to $10,000 annually for half-time primary care providers. For fiscal year 2013-2014, an estimated 5-10 loan repayment awards will be available. Applications are due by August 19.

–The National Rural Health Association (NHRA) invites applications for the 2014 Rural Health Fellows program. The goal of the program is to educate, develop and inspire a networked community of rural health leaders who will step forward to serve in key positions in NRHA, affiliated rural health advocacy groups and local and state legislative bodies. Applications are due by August 31.

The MPCA is now accepting proposals for projects that will reduce Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS) in Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and streams. Funding for selected projects will be provided by the Federal Clean Water Act Section 319 (Section 319) grant funds.  Proposals for nonpoint source development, education or applied research (DER) projects, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) or Watershed Protection and Restoration Strategy (WRAPS) implementation projects are being solicited. The MPCA anticipates about two and a half million dollars will be available this year, contingent upon Congressional appropriation.

There is a maximum limit of $300,000 per project funding request. Projects must be funded with at least a 45 percent local cash or in-kind match. The Federal share of the total project cost can be no more than 55 percent. Grant funds are limited and MPCA urges proposers to request only those funds needed to complete a project by August 31, 2017.  For more information go to: http://tinyurl.com/am8uf4z

The Economic Development Administration is offering grants for the Funding Cycle 1 of 2014. Grants made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets to support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to increase economic prosperity in distressed communities. Eligible: nonprofits, governments, Native American governments, public institutions of higher learning and others. Deadline to apply: 9/13/2013. For more information, click here.

–The Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot program seeks applications for grants to organizations that will assist veterans and their families in transitioning from military service to civilian life in rural or underserved communities. Applications are due September 19.

WILD ONES, a nonprofit environmental education and advocacy organization, is accepting applications from projects that use native plants to develop and enhance an appreciation for nature among children and youth. Grants ranging from $100 to $500 will be awarded for projects that emphasize the involvement of students and volunteers in all phases of development. Deadline to apply: 10/15/2013. For an application, click here.

DOE offers funding for clean energy projects on tribal lands.  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is offering up to $7 million to deploy clean energy systems in tribal communities. Through the “Community-Scale Clean Energy Projects in Indian Country” funding opportunity, up to $4.5 million is available for projects installing clean energy systems that reduce fossil fuel use by at least 15 percent in either new or existing tribal buildings. The “Tribal Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Deployment Assistance” funding opportunity offers up to $2.5 million for projects installing renewable energy and energy efficiency that reduce fossil fuel use in existing tribal buildings by at least 30 percent. The full funding opportunities are described on the Tribal Energy Program website.

USDA is inviting applications under the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program for FY 2013. Funding to support $33 million in loans and $10 million in grants is available. Deadline: applications received by 4:30 PM on the last day of the month will be considered for funding for the following month. Apply to the USDA Rural Development State Office in the state where your project is located. For a list, click here.

–The Office Depot Foundation is offering grant support to nonprofit organizations, government agencies, libraries, and schools that bring systemic change to the communities they serve. The Foundation provides grants averaging $1,000 in three distinct categories. The focus of the “Giving Children Tools for Success” category is on activities that give young people tools to succeed in school and in life through education and inspiration. The “Building Capacity to Serve Communities” category targets programs that help nonprofit organizations to serve the needs of their communities efficiently. The purpose of the “Disaster Preparedness, Relief, Recovery, and Rebuilding” category is to support efforts that help people and communities prepare for disasters and rebuild and recover when disasters occur. Applications will be accepted from May 1 through October 31, 2013. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review the guidelines.

QUICK STUDY

As leaders and managers we are expected to “coach” our employees. The expectation is that we mentor, develop, motivate, engage, and secure commitment. But how do we do that?  It seems like a tall order yet few of us have had specific training in coaching skills. Wes Pruett was recently interviewed in a national publication that outlines the key factors of this critical leadership skill. The components include: developing a relationship, listening, questioning, strategizing, providing feedback, and encouraging. The full article can be read at: http://www.mswmag.com/editorial/2013/06/coach_em_up

TRAINING/MEETINGS

Thursday, July 11 –New Markets Tax Credits – An Important Financing Tool for Healthy Food Retail — 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Pacific / 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern.   Established by Congress in 2000 to spur new or increased investments in low-income communities, the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program has a proven track record in expanding access to healthy foods by encouraging private sector investment in underserved communities.

This webinar will serve as an introduction to a complex financing tool. Learn the mechanics of the NMTC program. Gain a better understanding of its power and limitations. Explore some examples of how NMTCs are being used to finance a variety of projects designed to improve access to healthy foods. Presenters Include:

  • Mia Sowell, CDFI Fund, Senior Policy and Program Officer
  • Christina Szczepanski, The Reinvestment Fund, Senior Portfolio Manager
  • Patricia Smith, The Reinvestment Fund, Senior Policy Advisor (moderator)

Register here.

Stratis Health, with support from ORHPC, is hosting a series of five Quality Improvement learning sessions for Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). The July 17 session is “Communication and Teamwork Strategies” and August 14 will focus on “Using Process Mapping to Optimize Care.” For more information and to register, contact Alex Mitchell at 952-853-8598 or amitchell@stratishealth.org

Thursday July 18–Healthy Food Retail in Rural Communities –11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Pacific / 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Eastern.    Rural grocery stores anchor a community by supplying fresh foods and staples; creating local jobs; attracting complementary businesses; and increasing the tax base. Many rural grocers buy their goods and services from local vendors which also bolsters the local economy. Yet America’s rural grocery stores are under siege because of competition with “big box” stores for customers; high energy costs; the inability to buy products in small quantities; elderly owners with no succession plan; and low population density.

This webinar will explore the unique challenges that rural grocers face and discuss innovative solutions to improving access to healthy foods in rural America.   Participants will also learn about the variety of USDA resources that are available to support rural grocery stores and how to access this funding. Presenters include:

  • Dr. David Proctor, Director, Rural Grocery Initiative Center for Engagement and Community Development, Kansas State University
  • Joani Walsh, Deputy Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, USDA
  • Chad Parker, Deputy Administrator for Cooperative Programs, Rural Development’s Rural Business and Cooperative Service, USDA
  • Patricia Smith, The Reinvestment Fund, Senior Policy Advisor (moderator)

Register here.

CommunityMatters® and the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design will co-host calls this summer, designed to help any community working on a design or planning project get the skills they need to succeed and the inspiration to get started. These calls will help you learn to communicate effectively about your project, incorporate community values and local character, and successfully engage residents and other partners. Learn how you can generate buzz about your project and get people to participate, including tips and tools for working with the local press, developing project messaging, and preparing an effective communications plan.

Designing for the Vision and Values of Your CommunityJuly 25, 3:00-4:00 PM EDT

Secrets of Successful Communities with Ed McMahonAugust 22, 3:00-4:00 PM EDT

–The federal Office of Rural Health, Rural Health Professions Institute and the Virtual VA eHealth University (vVeHU) will present “…To Care for Her Who Hath Borne the Battle…The Rural Woman Veteran” on July 25 from 12:00-1:10 p.m. Register for the free online broadcast on the MyVeHU Campus website.

The 2013 Minnesota Community Action Partnership (MinnCAP) Conference: Pathways to Prosperity will be held from 10:00AM on Wednesday, July 31st to Friday, August 2nd at 1:00PM at the Arrowwood Conference Center in Alexandria, MN. For more information and to register go to: http://www.minncap.org/Conference2013.html

Farm Beginnings Course – apply by August 1, 2013.  The Land Stewardship Project (LSP) is now accepting applications for its 2013-2014 Farm Beginnings course. Farm Beginnings class sessions will begin this fall and LSP is providing participants two options for getting involved in one of the most successful beginning farmer training initiatives in the country. Classes will be offered in the Minnesota communities of Winona and Saint Cloud.  The application deadline for the 2013-2014 Farm Beginnings course is August 1. For application materials or for more information, see www.farmbeginnings.org

In 2013, LSP’s Farm Beginnings program is marking its 16th year of providing firsthand training in low-cost, sustainable methods of farming. The course is tailor-made for people of all ages just getting started in farming, as well as established farmers looking to make changes in their operations. Farm Beginnings participants learn goal setting, financial planning, enterprise planning, marketing and innovative production techniques.  Classes are led by farmers and other agricultural professionals from the area. The classes, which meet approximately twice-a-month, run until March 2014, followed by an on-farm education component that includes farm tours and skills sessions. The fee is $1,500 per farming partnership (flexible payment plan and partial scholarships available), and early-bird registrants are eligible to attend on-farm education events this summer and fall.  For more information go to: http://landstewardshipproject.org/posts/news/458

A free training on the continuum of HIV/AIDS care, from testing to referrals, will take place August 6 in Waite Park.  The training is sponsored by Stearns County Human Services and the Midwest Center for Lifelong Learning in Public Health (MCLPH) at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available. For more information and to register, call 612-625-1894 or email truax031@umn.edu.

–Rural Health Community Forum in St. Peter.  Join ORHPC in gathering information and making recommendations about rural health care in Minnesota. Interested citizens, hospital administrators and staff, emergency medical services personnel, health care providers, and community organizers and leaders are encouraged to attend a regional forum in St. Peter on August 22 from 10:00 to 2:00 at River’s Edge Hospital and Clinic. Your input will help shape state and national health care policies and activities. To attend, please register here. For more information, contact Judy Bergh at 651-201-3843 or judith.bergh@state.mn.us.

The Rural Palliative Care Networking Group will feature a special presentation, “Symptom management at end-of-life,” on September 19 from 10 a.m. to noon at United Family Home Care and Hospice in Little Falls. To register for in-person attendance or conference call, contact Matt Ellis by September 12 at mellis@stratishealth.org or 952-853-8539.

–HOLD THE DATE for the 2013 PedalMN Bicycle Summit on Monday, September 30 – Tuesday, October 1, in the Cuyuna/Brainerd Lakes Area.   New to the Summit schedule are experiential sessions on Mountain Biking at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area on Monday afternoon.  Connectivity will be a central theme for the Summit.

o Connecting trails and road routes

o Connecting partners within and across communities

o Connecting locally and nationally as we promote bicycling in Minnesota….and more!

For more information watch: http://tinyurl.com/m9rykr6

Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) on October 24-25 for North Star Nonprofits: Charting Our True Direction. Minnesota’s largest gathering of nonprofit professionals in 2013, this two-day gathering will bring together nonprofit leaders and our allies to focus on ways we can embrace inclusion as a powerful strategy for building a stronger Minnesota together.  MCN members who register by July 26 will receive the Super Saver rate of $149, saving $50 each off the standard member rate. Want more information? Visit the new conference website

OPPORTUNITIES

–For folks in the 60-mile radius around Morris, MN: The Center for Small Towns is researching and creating a comprehensive report on the state of abandoned and repurposed school buildings throughout the area. The epidemic of closed schools in rural Minnesota was brought forward by the Center’s advisory council, made up of rural leaders from all over the state. A student employee has been hard at work to find, contact, and gather information on every abandoned school within a 60 mile radius of Morris, Minnesota.  The Center is aiming to have the full and complete report published by the end of the year.

If you have, or would like any more information about abandoned schools in the area you can call or email at (320) 589-6451 and cst@morris.umn.edu

The Center has lots of resources for small towns and rural areas (and urban folks can definitely learn a thing or two there as well!). You can find the Center online at www.morris.umn.edu/cst — or https://www.facebook.com/centerfor.smalltowns and Twitter: https://twitter.com/CforSmallTowns

Nominations are being accepted for the 2013 Community Health Awards. These annual awards recognize individuals or groups who make significant contributions to public health in Minnesota, and will be presented at the Community Health Conference. Nominations due July 26.

Do It Green! Directory 2013.  Want to find green businesses in your area? The Do it Green! Directory is an all-in-one resource for local, sustainable, and green merchants, grocers, retailers, contractors, designers, consultants and other businesses in Minnesota. It is searchable by location and business type. Find it at www.doitgreen.org/directory

There are hundreds of sustainable green businesses and organizations in Minnesota listed in the Do It Green! Directory. The directory can be searched online, in print or downloaded. The organizations and businesses that appear in the Do It Green! Directory have passed a criteria created by the Do It Green! Minnesota Team.  Print copies can be picked up at the Do It Green! Resource Center in Minneapolis and have also been distributed at some of the food co-ops, independent bookstores, and other green businesses and local libraries throughout Minnesota.

If you are interested in being a part of this directory, visit the Do it Green! website http://www.doitgreen.org/directory and apply by September 1, 2013. The directory is produced in print (10,000 copies) and online (13,000+ hits/month).

The MDH Asthma Program has new Asthma Medication Posters available for free download. The posters assist school health offices and primary care clinics in prompting patients to identify their inhaled asthma medications. The posters display a photo of each inhaler; the generic and brand name of the medication; the delivery dose; and manufacturers’ name for all currently available inhaled asthma medications commonly prescribed in the United States.

MISCELLANEOUS

–The Nexus of Food, Energy and Water. 
More than one billion people lack access to clean drinking water, sufficient food and electricity. Meanwhile, the global population is growing by some 80 million people every year. By 2030, the nine billion people living on earth will need 30% more water, 40% more energy and 50% more food to survive.

Given the complex relationships among all three resources — the nexus of food, energy and water — meeting these demands will require thinking in terms of systems, not silos. It will take collaborative approaches that embrace rather than battle natural processes. And it will mean new technologies and approaches to everything from bio-fuels to desalination. This special report, produced in coordination with Wharton’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL), takes a close look at the key issues.

 http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/special_section.cfm?specialID=128

What does rural mean? Uncle Sam has more than a dozen answers (Washington Post).

Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America.  View the diversity of challenges and opportunities across America’s counties within different types of rural regions and communities. Get statistics on people, jobs, and agriculture. Data reflecting the 2007-2011 American Community Survey have been added to the Atlas. The Atlas now includes the 2013 Rural-urban Continuum Codes, 2013 Urban Influence Codes, and the updated Persistent Poverty Typology Code. In addition, a High Poverty Classification Code was added. Population, employment, unemployment, and migration indicators have been updated to the latest available data.

Rural Pulse is a research study that has been commissioned by the Blandin Foundation since 1998 to gain a real-time snapshot of the concerns, perceptions and priorities of rural Minnesota residents. This initiative was last conducted in 2010 and served to identify trends within significant, complex subject areas such as the economy, education, employment and quality of life.  In March 2013, more than a thousand Minnesotans residing outside of the Twin Cities metropolitan area and within communities under 35,000 participated in the project. Once again, a separate study was also completed with community leaders across the state.

The 2013 Rural Pulse is the largest and deepest poll the foundation has ever undertaken. For the first time, the survey included the perspectives of urban residents as well as specific racial and cultural perspectives.  Urban perspective research is new to the Rural Pulse study and made possible through a partnership with the Minnesota Community Foundation, an affiliate of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners.  http://www.ruralpulse.org/

Rural Broadband At A Glance, 2013 Edition  Rural household Internet and broadband subscription rates generally fall below urban rates, but rural areas gained broadband subscribers faster in 2009-10.

Young and beginning farmers represent the next generation of farm operators, but entering the profession can be challenging.  In the latest issue of the Main Street Economist, Nathan Kauffman, economist, explores the obstacles young and beginning farmers face in securing financing for capital-intensive operations.  For the full article, visit: http://tinyurl.com/ksphdds

74% of MN Jobs will require postsecondary training.
 Minnesota once again leads the nation in a new report that ranks states by high-skilled jobs concentration. By the end of the decade, 74% of the state’s jobs will require some level of postsecondary training according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. READ MORE

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Data System

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Data System provides time-series data on State and county-level estimates of SNAP participation and benefit levels, combined with area estimates of total population and the number of persons in poverty.

Poverty and Inequality: Persistent Challenges and New Solutions. 
In the last two decades, the number of people living below the poverty line globally has been cut in half, primarily due to robust growth in the emerging economies. Yet poverty is on the rise in both Europe and the United States, especially among children. Meanwhile, inequality across countries is on the decline, although inequality within countries has grown in both the developed and the developing world, with the notable exception of Latin America. This report, produced by the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, examines the changing patterns of poverty and inequality as well as potential solutions.  To read the entire report go to: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/special_section.cfm?specialID=127

The Kaiser Family Foundation has published “State-by-State Snapshot of Poverty Among Seniors: Findings From Analysis of the Supplemental Poverty Measure”. The brief includes examples of seniors who are not classified as living in poverty under the official measure but who are considered to be living in poverty under the supplemental measure, due to high out-of-pocket medical or housing costs. Read more here.

The U.S. Bioenergy Statistics are a source of information on biofuels intended to present a picture of the renewable energy industry and its relationship to agriculture. Where appropriate, data are presented in both a calendar year and the relevant marketing year timeframe to increase utility to feedstock-oriented users. The statistics highlight the factors that influence the demand for agricultural feedstocks for biofuels production; for instance, numerous tables emphasize the relationship between energy and commodity markets.  Go to: U.S. Bioenergy Statistics

Health Information Technology. MDH’s Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT) has produced a policy guidance to clarify details about the 2015 Minnesota Interoperable Electronic Health Record (EHR) mandate. The 2007 Minnesota Legislature mandated in Minnesota Statute §62J.495 (Electronic Health Record Technology), that “By January 1, 2015, all hospitals and health care providers must have in place an interoperable electronic health records system within their hospital system or clinical practice setting.” Future updates and resources will be posted on the Minnesota e-Health Initiative / OHIT website.

–A new report from PolicyLink looks at the economic development benefits of improving healthy food access. Authors Erin Hagan and Victor Rubin argue that new grocery stores, corner stores, farmer’s markets, and other food retailers generate significant economic activity in all communities, and specifically in low-income communities. Download the report here.

“Middle-Skill Jobs Remain More Common Among Rural Workers” is the title of an issue brief from The Carsey Institute. The brief uses data from the Current Population Survey collected from 2003 to 2012 to assess trends in employment in middle-skill jobs and the Great Recession’s impact on middle-skill workers, with particular attention paid to differences between those in rural and urban places. Download a copy of the brief here 

Retirement Toolkit. The U.S. Department of Labor, in cooperation with the U.S. Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, launched this online toolkit to help workers identify key issues related to retirement planning and understand important decisions related to employment-based plans, Social Security, and Medicare.

EDITOR’s NOTES:

IF YOU HAVE CONTRIBUTIONS OF CONTENT OR DONATIONS TO HELP KEEP THE RURAL ROUND-UP CHUGGING ALONG, please send the content to Jane Leonard, at minntwin@comcast.net (we try to publish regularly every 2nd Tuesday of the month). Monetary donations (by check to Minnesota Rural Partners, Inc) can be sent to Minnesota Rural Partners, Inc., 1533 Grantham St., St. Paul, MN 55108

Thanks this month go to Dakota Electric Association and an anonymous donor for contributions of $100 each. This will help purchase four months of publishing the MRP Rural Round-Up.