Region Five Five Counties. One Vision. One Source Links & Resources
What We Do

Community Development


Community development is a broad term applied to the practices and academic disciplines of civic leaders, involved citizens and professionals to improve various aspects of local communities; ultimately to improve quality of life in our local communities.

Community development seeks to empower individuals and groups of people by providing these groups with the skills they need to affect change in their own communities. These skills are often concentrated around building local capacity through the formation and facilitation of local community groups working for a common goal.

This is done by providing technical assistance, resources, and information. In addition, information is available in topic areas such Hazard Mitigation, Comprehensive Planning, Zoning, Broadband adoption and connectivity, Sustainability, Local Foods and Energy.

Local Foods Resources


DC Local Foods PP 9/2013

Food Hubs Regional Economics

Central MN Food Hub

Farm to School in Central MN Applied Economic Analysis

SPROUT Business Plan 

Local Food Endeavors within Region Five (as of July 2013)


Why is the childcare issue important to our Local Units of Government?
Childcare can be a benefit to an entire community because they attract and retain young families providing a ripple effect in the local economy. School systems benefit because of the potential for future increased enrollment and reimbursement. Businesses benefit because their employees have access to childcare. The local economy grows and thrives. Despite these benefits, balancing the cost to operate a childcare facility with affordable fees can be difficult which is resulting in centers closing or deciding the cost does not outweigh the benefit to even open a center. Additionally, increased policies and procedures for home based childcare, while well intentioned, is creating a difficult environment for providers to want to continue. Combined with increased retirement rates among the long standing home based providers, we have found ourselves in a desperate situation of lacking quality and affordable childcare that in turn negatively effects businesses (recruitement and retention of employees) as well as our local economy in the form of the tax base. Here are additional reasons from Minnesota's Workforce Compensation Advisory Group Summary Report and Recommendations:

  • Effective, high quality early care and education have a demonstrated positive impact on the physical, emotional, intellectual and social development of young children, and the resulting lifelong impact on their success in school, work and life.

  •  Minnesotan’s benefit from reduced remedial education costs and avoidance of criminal justice involvement and resulting costs.

  •  Available, affordable quality child care enables parents to fully engage in the workforce. In Minnesota, there are 419,084 children age birth through five years; 74 percent of these children live in households where all available parents are currently working, and 22 percent of all Minnesota children are part of low-income families, (Whitebook, McLean, & Austin, 2016).

  •  Employers benefit from the ability to attract and retain workers, and to experience reduced absenteeism.

  •  Communities benefit from the healthy growth and development of their children and the stability of working families.

  • The child care industry enables businesses to recruit employees, decrease absenteeism and turnover, increase productivity; ensures a strong economy in the future by preparing children for academic success; and is a significant industry in its own right.

  • According to the report “The Economic Impact of the Child Care Industry in Minnesota”, published by the National Economic Development and Law Center, “the substantial size of the child care industry means that it not only supports the economy by allowing parents to work, but also contributes to its vitality by employing significant numbers of workers, providing tax revenue, and purchasing goods and services from many other industry sectors. The child care field also boosts the economy by drawing down significant levels of federal funds available to support quality improvement and to provide child care services to poor families. These families represent a substantial portion of the existing and potential workforce and are vital to the continued growth of the economy.” (Traill, Saskia ; Wohl, Jen ;, 2003)


What is the role of R5DC?

R5DC is committed in assisting in this critical need area by providing grant writing opportunites on a small fee for service as well as providing resources, increasing the network and providing case studies. 



     Legislative Task Force on Access to Affordable Childcare

     Report from First Children's Finance

Fact sheets
Provided by Center for Rural Policy and Development


Case studies

Benson Discovery Kids

Clarkfield Tiny Sprouts Daycare on the Prairie

Montevideo Thunder Hawks


Energy Resources


RDF Grant Application for Solar Schools Project


Region Five Introduction to Municipal and School District Energy/Wastewater Models & Services

Minnesota Solar Industries Association (MNseia)

Solar Energy Loan Program Report




Announcing DEVELOPMN 2016

A Comprehensive Development Strategy for Greater Minnesota

This plan is a result of a collaborative effort of the members that make up the Minnesota Association of Development Organizations (MADO).  It was developed in order to align strategic economic development efforts throughout Greater Minnesota and leverage resources at all levels for a greater overall development impact.


For specific information on these or any services provided by Region Five Development Commission please contact Dawn Espe at 218-894-3233 x3 or by email at