PRESCOTT — Nearly every seat was filled at the Old Ptacek's Event Center, as attendees enjoyed breakfast with coffee and tea for the Pierce County Economic Development Corporation awards breakfast.
PCEDC Board President Dan Lytle welcomed the crowd of over 100 people, introduced the event sponsors and thanked the board of directors for its work.
Joe Folsom, executive director of the PCEDC, spoke about its accomplishments in 2019 and focus areas for 2020, including how to get high-speed broadband to Pierce County residents.
Some accomplishments include:
- New website, logo and updated newsletters
- Completed a tourism and market research project
- Formed a tourism coalition of stakeholders that meet and brainstorm
- Assisted the Village of Ellsworth newly formed Community Development Authority committee and survey project
- Provided workshops for entrepreneurial and small businesses
The event began with a networking social and ended with five awards being handed out. The awards, award winners and their descriptions are as follows:
Workforce Development Innovator
UNFI (United Natural Foods Incorporated) in Prescott
UNFI Prescott was built in 2015 and carries 26,000 different products. It delivers throughout Minnesota, western Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota. It opened with about 135 associates and have grown to almost 200 associates, according to the PCEDC.
Career Pathway Award
River Falls School District
The River Falls School District is the lead district within the St. Croix Valley Youth Apprenticeship Consortium. It has over 200 area youth apprentices, and upon successfully completion they will have earned a combined wages of $1 million during this year, according to the PCEDC.
Professional Business Woman
Brand started in zoning and worked her way from clerk and to city administrator. She has had a large part in building Prescott's industrial parks and local development, according to the PCEDC.
"She always has her eyes open for opportunities for the city to develop and grow through her knowledge and work with the Pierce County Economic Development Corporation and the state of Wisconsin, she provided prospective businesses with the information they need to make the decision on whether to come to the city," Mayor David Hovel said.
Small Entrepreneurial Star
A Butchery Shoppe
This award recognizes the individual or company that is an example of entrepreneurial spirit in the county.
A Butchery Shoppe is a small retail shop focusing on broths, soups, fresh produce and other prepared foods such as homemade dressing, spreads, flavored butters and specialty cheeses among other items. A Buttery Shoppe is located in Spring Valley and has begun its second year of business.
EDC Cornerstone Award
Whole Earth Market Cooperative
Awarded to an individual, company or organization that has made an extraordinary contribution to furthering economic development in the Pierce County.
The Whole Earth Market Co-op helps the River Falls community through fundraising events such as RoundUp for Good, which raised over $11,000 that went to four different community organizations. They co-op also helped the River Falls Montessori Academy raise close to $800 for its programs with its annual Holiday Coffee Fundraiser.