Thriving Communities Initiative ideas flowing to improve Staples

“To inspire a vibrant, prosperous and welcoming community through collaboration, innovation and action.”

The Thriving Communities Initiative (TCI) steering committee has approved its first request for funding.

The economic development task force requested $1,000 to prepare materials for distribution beginning during Railroad Days in August. 

At a recent steering committee meeting the chairs of each task force shared the ideas each group has been discussing to meet the TCI vision statement “To inspire a vibrant, prosperous and welcoming community through collaboration, innovation and action.”

Three task forces evolved out of the original community and group meetings in February and March: workforce development, quality of life and economic development.

The economic development task force plans to staff a booth during Railroad Days encouraging people to “Help Us Grow: Your Town, Your Home.”

Among other initiatives, they are preparing cards with facts, such as how much local businesses donate back into the local local community supporting youth, non profit organizations and community activities and improvements. 

This task force is also organizing information sessions in October through the Todd County Development Corporation to help and encourage entrepreneurs.

The quality of life task force began their campaign in last week’s issue of the Staples World with their list of “50+ things to do in Staples this summer.” They encourge people to add their own ideas to the list. 

The task force notes the need for bike racks, especially in the parks and on the trails. They will work to create trailheads for the growing biking and walking trail network. 

They shared ideas for creating art and leisure spaces in the community, such as colorfully painted crosswalks (think hopscotch or cartoon characters), murals on buildings or in parking lots. They also would like to expand programming to use city parks, such as bird watching, nature trails and fitness stations. 

The workforce development task force has been discussing the training needed by employees in service and manufacturing companies. 

Ideas have included helping to develop certificate programs for students entering a career and mentorship options for students to learn local businesses.

They are collaborating with the school district which is conducting a Search Institute survey of students and community people to define what assets need to be developed. 

Volunteers are welcome to join these task forces or to get involved in specific activities by contacting the chairs:

o Economic development - Ryan Wright,, 218-640-7247, or Dan Shaw,, 218-296-0228.

o Quality of life - Mark Anderson,, 218-894-1112 or Tricia Jasmer,, 218-894-2553.

o Workforce development - Bart Graves,, 218-894-1930, or Rachel Johnson,, 218-894-1515.

o Coordinator in Staples - Melissa Radermacher,, 218-894-2550.

Advertising Deadlines

Deadline for advertisements and copy is Friday, noon.

Staples World

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 100 Staples, MN 56479 Telephone: (218) 894-1112 - Fax: (218) 894-3570 Toll Free: 1-888-894-1112 E Mail:;

Deadline: Friday, noon


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