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Annual Economic Development Summit to focus on area's childcare shortage

This year's Economic Development Summit will host over a dozen speakers at M State on March 1 at from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The keynote speaker, Jessica Beyer of Children's First Finance, will give an update on Becker County's childcare shortage.

"She is going to be talking about what her group is able to do for our community and what our community cohort is working on ... solving some of our childcare issues," said Carrie Johnston, Detroit Lakes Chamber of Commerce president.

Other speakers will address issues like housing, business growth, construction updates and workforce changes.

"Dr. Carrie Brimhall from M State is going to be presenting ... some updates and some of her vision and where she sees M State here and all the other campuses fitting into the economic engine of the area," said Johnston.

Jim Buus from Goldmark Commercial Real Estate will be giving an update on projects around town his company is working on, like Midtown Development and the Norby's Flats.

City and county officials will also give an annual update on projects that are underway or just getting started in the area, like the new county jail, the wastewater treatment plant, the next steps for the city police station, and any road projects.

Johnston says the Chamber of Commerce is planning to make a photo montage of all the construction projects happening around town, including new businesses going up, like Thrifty White, and the renovations happening at the Boys and Girls Club.

"Kelcey (Klemm) from the city will also talk a little bit about how in 2021 the community is going to turn 150 years old," said Johnston.

Johnston says the chamber is still working on a few other details of the event. She says there will be some surprises revealed, as usual and, overall, the event will be a good opportunity for business owners and community members to network.

Tickets to the event are $25 in advance. After Feb. 20, tickets will be $30. Johnston says anyone who wants more information about the event can call the Chamber of Commerce.