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MRC is the voice of Minnesota's rural communities.

Greater MN Brain Gain

HF2872 / SF2722 

Contrary to the narrative that Greater MN is in population decline, census figures illustrated by stories like the one above, reflect a steady migration of new residents in the key 30-50 year-old, family-raising demographic who are leaving the city for the comforts of country life.

To support this trend, local communities in Greater MN are banding together to market the natural, cultural, and economic opportunities of the region.

These energetic and organic efforts are largely volunteer and universally underfunded. While they may lack adequate resources, there is no lack of promise to the potential the programs provide.

The Greater MN Brain Gain is designed to show what these great local efforts could do if provided adequate funding and structure.

The bill identifies, coordinates, and supports existing regional web-based outreach efforts in a way that can currently only be achieved in more populated areas of the state with broad tax bases.

Brain Gain Details

HF2872 / SF2722

A one-year, $1 million dollar pilot program designed to identify and provide financial and structural support to the energetic but largely volunteer economic development efforts emerging in Greater Minnesota.

Market regional assets like parks, trails, outdoor, schools, health care, community culture, industry, and job opportunities through digital means on a regional basis to prospective workers or new residents to a given region.

The RDC’s or initiative foundations award grants to their own or other regional projects based on criteria established in the bill.

On projects that are awarded grants, local leaders are trained and compensated to organize local communities, build the digital infrastructure, and initiate a program of positive messaging to promote the community.

The concept of marketing assets on a regional basis called for in the bill, is the same strategy the MN Rural Counties helped establish in the creation of the Greater MN Regional Parks and Trails Commission. The brand new state-of-the-art regional park and trail system in Greater MN, is a great compliment to the assets people look to find when selecting a place to live.