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Initiative Quarterly

Xcel Grant Benefits Thriving Communities Initiative

September 29, 2017

Current Thriving Communitites Initiative Participants gathered at a recent training. Participants are from the communities of Eden Valley (Stearns County), Hackensack (Cass County), Menahga (Wadena County), Milaca (Mille Lacs County) and Upsala (Morrison County). 

$20,000 funding aids Central Minnesota community-building work 

Xcel Energy Foundation has announced a $20,000 grant to the Initiative Foundation to support its 2017 Thriving Communities Initiative (TCI) program.

 "Xcel Energy has long been a key partner in community and economic development throughout Central Minnesota," said Don Hickman, vice president of workforce and community development at the Initiative Foundation. "We are deeply grateful that they continue to support the next generation of leaders in our region."

 For more than 30 years, the Initiative Foundation has empowered local people to engage in their communities--to give of their time, talent and resources to make their hometowns vibrant and resilient. TCI is designed to develop a network of civic leaders who work together to identify strategies that meet local priorities. The program goal is to create community and economic development opportunities that are ultimately supported by a sustainable community fund. 

Phase I of the TCI program currently is under way with the communities of Eden Valley (Stearns County), Hackensack (Cass County), Menahga (Wadena County), Milaca (Mille Lacs County) and Upsala (Morrison County). Participants will focus on attracting, training and retaining a mix of existing, new and emerging leaders who are interested in community service. 

"This promises to be an exciting year for TCI, redesigned with customized content and flexible training materials to meet the needs of today's community leaders," said Michelle Kiley, community development program manager at the Initiative Foundation.

 All five communities will be eligible to participate in Phase II, and will work to engage a wider audience to create community and economic development opportunities--all of which can support the establishment of a community fund that may be eligible for a $20,000 Initiative Foundation challenge match.

About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company operating in eight Western and Midwestern states. The company is committed to providing cost-effective, clean, responsible energy delivered with the highest standards for safety, reliability and responsiveness. Xcel Energy supports communities in four important focus areas: math and science education; environmental stewardship; job training, placement and creation; and access to arts and culture. In 2013, Xcel Energy invested $8 million in support of communities across its service territory.

About the Initiative Foundation
The Initiative Foundation exists to improve the quality of life and to build stronger communities within its 14-county region of Central Minnesota by offering business financing, technical assistance, nonprofit grants, donor services and leadership training. Since 1986, the Initiative Foundation, supported by generous donors and partners, has invested millions throughout the region through targeted grants and business financing investments.

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