Laying Foundations for Growth on the East Range
In fall 2018, Northspan began work with the East Range Joint Powers Board (ERJPB), a unified economic development authority for the cities of Aurora, Biwabik, and Hoyt Lakes, and the Town of White. Northspan took on the role held by longtime partner Curt Anttila, who retired this past summer and has assisted with the transition.
Northspan has a long track record of work in the East Range area that includes facilitation of Community Advisory Panels sponsored by Minnesota Power and PolyMet; work on the Laskin Energy Park team, which is now moving to certify the site as Shovel Ready with the state of Minnesota; and facilitation numerous smaller-scale community conversations and planning processes. Under the contract, Northspan tackles numerous pressing business and community development issues on the East Range, attends the Board’s monthly meetings, and represents the ERJPB at numerous local and regional meetings.
Northspan jumped straight into several ongoing regional initiatives on the East Range, including efforts to boost broadband connectivity and expand childcare options. Early in the relationship, Northspan conducted priority-setting sessions with each of the East Range communities’ city councils and the White Township board, which it used to guide a broader strategic direction for the region. Northspan’s next step involves a series of business retention and expansion visits to understand the business situation in the region and explore avenues for growth. These initial steps will connect businesses to a broad array of economic development services available to communities and regional groups of all sizes.
At Northspan we are excited to build on our existing relationships on the East Range and foster a long-term partnership that advances the region’s economic development. We pride ourselves on our commitment to local economic development and look forward to playing a role in several exciting projects that are on the horizon in Aurora, Biwabik, Hoyt Lakes, and the Town of White.