Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 10:00 pm Friday, September 29, 2017

To the Discover History Days program.

Congratulations to all of the people involved in another successful year of Discover History Days at the Freeborn County Historical Museum.

This year, approximately 350 fifth-graders around the area learned about what life was like from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s.

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The students traveled to stations in the village dedicated to aspects of life during the time period. Categories ranged from occupations, immigration, transportation, hometown entertainment, church, among others.

The fifth-graders were taught by Albert Lea 11th-grade students after the high-schoolers conducted research on history for two weeks. Adult mentors checked the work the 11th-graders had done and offered feedback.

This is an opportunity for all who are involved to learn new information and to in turn share that information with others.

Kudos to organizers for completing the 21st year of the program.

To more details about Albert Lea’s incentive package for the Hy-Vee distribution center.

We were pleased to hear more information Monday at the Albert Lea City Council meeting about Albert Lea’s offer to bring a Hy-Vee distribution center to the the city.

Residents as a whole often wonder what is being offered to bring businesses to town.

According to Albert Lea Economic Development Agency Executive Director Ryan Nolander, local entities offered Hy-Vee tens of millions of dollars in incentives, including tax increment financing, tax abatement, water and sewer extensions, cash incentives to offset land acquisition costs and waiving permit and review fees.

Albert Lea was one of 12 locations in Minnesota to submit a proposal for the project and ended up as the runner-up to Austin.

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Business Development Director Jeff Rossate said the site in Albert Lea was a viable site, but the site in Austin was slightly more visible from the interstate and closer to an interstate interchange.

We appreciate hearing what led Hy-Vee to select Austin over Albert Lea and hope Albert Lea can find success with other businesses in the future.

To the Albert Lea Greater Education Project.

Though it is only in its first few years of operation, we are already seeing major successes come from the Albert Lea Greater Education Project.

The project, which focused on career exploration, workforce trends and job opportunities for students, last year was a collaboration of over 230 local businesses professionals, over 100 businesses and Albert Lea eighth-grade and 12th-grade students. Local business professionals spoke to eighth-graders in the school district about their career path. Eighth-graders were involved in the project as part of their career pathways class, and the seniors involved were involved through their economics classes.

The Tribune featured one of the students who utilized the program for job shadowing in one issue this week.

Mercedes Saltou, a 2016 Albert Lea High School graduate, credits the opportunities she received through contacts with the project’s director, Jean Eaton, as helping her choose her career path. She said through two days of job shadowing, she saw first-hand what an orthopedic surgeon does at the hospital and met with patients who were being seen at the hospital.

We hope this project finds more success this year.