North Pointe Centre is the latest retail center being constructed along Highway 371.
Kuepers Construction is designing the center, which is expected to have 22,000 square feet with six units with various offices and potential for restaurants. The center is being constructed north of Liberty Savings bank.
Virtual Entrepreneurial Network, a statewide technology initiative, has a kickoff news conference in St. Paul. VEN will serve as "a replicable model for providing online, virtual support to small businesses trying to thrive in rural communities, particularly those areas that seek to increase the rate of business start-ups and diversify their economic base."
The idea is to have VEN up and running by Oct. 1. The pilot project will be evaluated for two years.
More information is available online at www.bizpathways.org. The entire three-year project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Technology Opportunities Program.
Minnesota technology Inc.'s new report states technology is a diverse, well-established stable anchor to the Minnesota economy. Looking at companies with more than five employees as technology intensive, the report included 164,500 jobs. Jacques Koppel, Minnesota Technology president, said Minnesota is generally considered on of the nation's top 10 states for high tech employment.
The report is available online at www.minnesotatechnology.org.
State unemployment rates dipped in June. The state's seasonably adjusted unemployment rate for June was 4 percent, down from May but up from last year's 3.7 percent. The national seasonally adjusted jobless rate for June was 5.9 percent.
The state department of Economic Security announced last week that the maximum weekly benefit for new unemployment benefit accounts will increase from $452 to $467 as of Aug. 1. The average weekly wage earned by Minnesotans was $701.10 in 2001 and $670.07 in 2000.
The 3.2 percent increase in unemployment benefits is the smallest since the early 1990s, the state reported. To receive the maximum weekly benefit, an unemployed worker must have an average weekly wage of $934 during four quarters of work.
Jobless rates in area counties in May were: Aitkin County, 5.4 percent; Cass County, 4.1 percent; Crow Wing County, 3.6 percent; Morrison County, 4.8 percent, Todd County, 4.5 percent; and Wadena County, 3.9 percent.
More county and state figures are available at www.mnworkforcecenter.org.
When Crow Wing County officials worked with an area business to help keep mercury from polluting the area, they had more success than they expected.
The joint effort between Crow Wing County's Solid Waste office and Wal-Mart collected 2,548 mercury thermometers. Wal-Mart donated 1994 thermometers to people seeking replacements. Collected thermometers will be recycled. The collection was completed this past spring and organizers noted just one gram of mercury, the amount found in most thermometers, is enough to cause a fish consumption advisory on a 20-acre lake.
County representatives stated they were overwhelmed with the turnout.
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