The process of developing a formal welcome center to the Brainerd lakes area south of the Highway 371 interchange near Barrows is continuing.
A lakes area welcome center and rest area near the entrance to Crow Wing State Park. The project may be completed in 2003/2004.
The chamber is working on fund raising and is also meeting with the State Patrol and the Minnesota Department of Transportation to work on the particulars.
In early details, the Brainerd Lakes Area Chambers of Commerce stated funding is expected to be a joint venture with the chamber funding the welcome center and MnDOT funding purchase of the site, preparation and construction of the rest area, as well as grounds maintenance.
Minnesota Power began doing business under a new name, Allete, on Sept. 1. The name is taken from a combination of two words -- all and elite.
Electric customers are not expected to see any change in their service. The company's regulated electric business will continue to be called Minnesota Power. The company's corporate headquarters are in Duluth.
Ed Russell, Minnesota Power chairman, stated the move is a next logical step in the company's evolution to a more diversified, multi-services corporation.
"With diverse, profitable and growing businesses operating in 39 states and eight Canadian provinces, we are clearly more than Minnesota and more than power," Russell stated in a news release.
The Light Depot, Baxter, presented the city's utilities commission with a concept plan for expansion. The business' new building would be constructed to the west of the current store, which would be divided into two or three shops and leased to other businesses.
Menards is expected to break ground on its Highway 371 North location on the former Tanks property yet this month.
Leadership in the lakes area is getting a boost from a training program sponsored by the chamber with a goal of building and sustaining a healthy business environment in the area.
Now in its second year, Leadership in the Lakes Area immerses a diverse group of people in a learning opportunity aimed at enhancing individual leadership skills through their businesses and community.
Leadership skill training is accomplished through training sessions about creating, managing and sustaining change, values in leadership, vision, planning and action, conflict management, and communication skills among others.
The program runs through seven sessions and continues along a seventh-month period. And part of the conversation involves those aspects of a community that affect businesses -- from health care to law enforcement, the economy to education, humans services to area government.
Leaders from these areas attend training sessions to illustrate the connection between their arenas and the business community.
The training program is 60 hours in length and begins with an in-depth two-day retreat on Oct. 5 and 6 followed by training on Nov. 2, Dec. 7, Jan. 11, Feb. 8, March 8, April 5 and May 3 of 2001.
The program received grants from the Bremer and Initiative Foundation to develop the curriculum and complete the first year of training.
The enrollment fee for 2000-2001 is $695 for chamber member and $995 for non members. Continuing education credits are awarded through a partnership with CLC. Application deadline is Sept. 12.
In employment tips by Employment Review and BestJobsUSA.com, recommendations include keeping skills current, reading trade journals, newsletters and joining associations in an individual's area of expertise to stay on top of changes in the profession.
And the employment tips include the importance of taking the time to understand the company's corporate culture before the interview, which can be measured in dress.
In an indication of air service from other carriers and flight interest, Sun Country begins daily service from the Twin Cities to O'Hare International Airport in Chicago starting in October.
One-way fares are $104 with a 21-day advance. Two round-trip flights will be offered per day Monday through Friday with one round-trip flight on the weekend.
Sun Country reported that Chicago is the most traveled destination from the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport and was the most requested route the airline did not serve.
Aitkin's business past and city heritage from the steamboat and logging camp era will be part of a two-day living history event called Festival of Adventures on Sept. 16-17.
A Searchable Online Accommodation Resource is now available on the Internet to employers seeking to make workplace accommodations for employees with disabilities.
Launched earlier this summer, SOAR is a Web-based service of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities' Job Accommodation Network.
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