Dorman hired for new rural economic group

Published 7:50 pm Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities announced Friday Albert Lea’s Dan Dorman will lead a new economic development partnership program launched by the coalition.

Dan Dorman

Dan Dorman

Dorman, 50, a former state lawmaker, has served as the executive director of the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency for six years.

Under the new program, called the Greater Minnesota Economic Development Partnership, rural cities will partner with economic development authorities, chambers of commerce, private businesses and nonprofits to propose and advocate economic development initiatives for Greater Minnesota. The program will be a nonprofit organization separate from the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities but will receive most of its funding from the coalition.

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Dorman said after serving in the Legislature for eight years and as the ALEDA executive director for six, he knows Greater Minnesota needs a strong voice in fighting for economic development programs and funding.

“I know how to build coalitions at the Capitol across party lines to get legislation passed,” he said.

In the next few months, the partnership will announce policy initiatives for the 2014 Legislature.

Dorman said he will still live in Albert Lea with his new job and will spend some of his time traveling to areas in the southern part of the state. He will also spend some time lobbying at the Legislature.

He did not know when his last day would be with ALEDA.

During his time with ALEDA, Dorman said he helped bring in more than $1 million in grant funding for the new road in the Interstate 35/Interstate 90 Business Park and has aided in efforts at Mrs. Gerry’s Kitchen, Interstate Packaging, ITC and Amtec, to name a few.

Albert Lea Mayor Vern Rasmussen said the ALEDA boards have not formally talked about what to do about Dorman’s departure and will review the needs of the organization, city and community.

“He’s been a great asset to the organization,” Rasmussen said.

Alan Oliver, CEO of Mrs. Gerry’s, said in a news release that an organization such as the partnership is long overdue.

“Greater Minnesota clearly needs an organization — one that is aggressive and effective — that is focused on developing and fighting for policies tailored to strengthen communities and businesses like ours,” Oliver said.