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EDC expands staff position to include business development

WILLMAR — The agriculture and renewable energy specialist position with the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission is being expanded to include countywide business development.

The recommendation to broaden the scope of the position came this past month from the EDC’s joint powers board, whose members said they saw a need for someone on the staff to do more business outreach.

The position “will still have a heavy emphasis on ag,” Steve Renquist, executive director of the Economic Development Commission, told the joint operating board on Thursday.

But the job description is being rewritten to add business development to the list of responsibilities, he said.

It’s the fourth time in the past few years that the ag specialist position has been expanded. At one time, the EDC’s agriculture specialist was a part-time position filled by an independent contractor focusing primarily on agriculture. Then it became a part-time staff position. Renewable energy projects were added to the work load about three years ago and the position eventually grew to full time.

The position has been vacant since the summer and was in the process of being filled. Renquist said Thursday that the process has been halted while the job description is revised. A final job description will be given to the joint operating board for its review before being finalized, he said.

Candidates who applied for the post have been contacted about the pending change in the job description, Renquist said. “They all wish to be considered.”

The Economic Development Commission budget for 2014 allows for spending up to $50,000 on an agriculture, renewable energy and business development staff person.

Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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