First Stop Shop Updates
Volume 4, Issue 2 - February 2016
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In This Issue

Employers of Excellence Awards
* Calling all Scott County Businesses!! * 
Scott County businesses have a great opportunity to participate in an awards program targeted at identifying the businesses that are experiencing the best results in employee retention and best work environments. All participants will receive a personalized report detailing how they compare with other companies in the area and offering suggestions for improvement of their work environments. *FREE TO PARTICIPATE!* Check out the press release with more details below.  Deadline to apply is April 1!

Area employers to vie for “Employers of Excellence” Awards

With the unemployment rates in Dakota and Scott counties extremely low, employers are finding it difficult to create a workplace environment that will attract and retain good employees.  
The Dakota-Scott Workforce Development Board (WDB) will be recruiting employers to participate in the “Employers of Excellence” Awards program. The program will recognize the best employers in the two-county area and overall provides an overview of employment data, and trends and practices on what employers are doing to maintain an engaged workforce. The program collects data from area employers and produces a 20-page report on employment trends and practices in Dakota and Scott counties. From the data received the WDB will recognize the businesses that are experiencing the best results in employee retention efforts and providing the best work environments in the area. Additionally, participating employers will receive a confidential report including their individual metrics.

“Employers throughout our business community are looking for the best ways to retain and attract talent. We want to know who is doing a great job and what are they doing to keep their workforce engaged.” says Mark Lofthus, chairperson of the WDB’s Business Services committee.

“This project will benefit employees and employers alike. In a time when everyone is trying to keep employees engaged, this program will provide the opportunity for all of the businesses in our community to learn new ways to provide a quality place to work and reduce their turnover.”

The Dakota-Scott WDB is working with Personnel Dynamics Consulting in Florida to collect the data from area businesses. Personnel Dynamics will analyze the data and calculate the turnover rates, growth percentages, promotion percentages, and benefit packages for each company. A total of 37 different measurements are analyzed. Every participating company will receive a personalized report detailing how they compared with other companies in the area and suggestions for improving the work environment. All costs are being covered by the WDB and area sponsors including Dakota County Technical College, Inver Hills Community College, Dakota County Community Development Agency (CDA) and Scott County CDA.

Winners will be announced May 25 at the Employers of Excellence Awards Banquet to be held at the Eagan Community Center.  

The WDB is encouraging all employers to participate. You may contact WDB Director Mark Jacobs at 651 554-5622 for more information or go to, which includes a link to the survey. Please click on the “Employers of Excellence” tab.  Deadline for consideration for this program — available this year at no cost to employers — is April 1.
2016 Economic Development Incentive Grant Awards

The Scott County Community Development Agency (CDA) is excited to announce the projects selected to receive 2016 Economic Development Incentive (EDI) Grants in 2016!  Once again there was a wide variety of excellent projects submitted for both the Corridor Readiness and the Technical Assistance Grants.

As a quick reminder, the Corridor Readiness grants are intended to assist communities in completing land use, transportation and environmental studies and contracted planning services that are intended to maximize development and/or redevelopment opportunities and the investment of capital within the top ten commercial corridors as established by the SCALE Transportation and Economic Development Committee. They require a minimum 1:2 local match.

The Technical Assistance grants are intended to provide funding for those projects that will enhance economic development activities with the goal of achieving new job creation in Scott County. They require a minimum 1:1 local match.  
2016 Corridor Readiness Awards:
  • Belle Plaine ~ Platting of property within SCALE established transportation corridor: Buesgens
  • Belle Plaine ~ Feasibility Report: Extension of North Sanitary Interceptor Sewer
  • Jordan ~ SW Interceptor
  • Jordan ~ 190th/CR 9 Growth Area Traffic Study
  • Savage ~ Valley Oil Site Environmental and Geotechnical Assessments
  • Savage ~ TH 13/Dakota and Yosemite Design Study

2016 Technical Assistance Awards:
  • Belle Plaine ~ Pair Smart Jobs Board application with city website and make accessible from mobile devices - android and IOS platforms
  • Elko New Market ~ I-35 Utility Design
  • Elko New Market ~ City Branding Initiative
  • Shakopee ~ Downtown Shakopee Streetscape and Public Realm Design
A total of $295,047.64 was awarded on these 10 projects with local matches totaling $340,587.36. There are even a couple projects where the local match includes private investment as well. That is great to see!

We look forward to seeing the outcomes of all of these projects over the next year! 
Short and sweet update this month ~ if you have other content suggestions you'd like to make, please don't hesitate to contact us.

FSS Contact Info

Stacy Crakes, P.E.  | 952.496.8613 | Email
Renee Christianson |  952.496.8830 | Email
Copyright © 2016 Scott County CDA, All rights reserved.

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