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Monday, December 5th, 2016
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What is OWLS?

Fri, Sep 3rd, 2010
Posted in Business Announcements

OWLS = Older Workers Leading Success.

Who is an OWL?

OWLS'S are the 45 years old and older adults in our area workforce with a wealth of skills and knowledge to transfer to our area work force. An OWL is also an older worker that wants to stay in the area work force in their current position or who may want to retire or change positions finding new avenues and opportunities for themselves. The programming will offer these workers skill set development to aide them in their new ventures and enable them to work side by side with the younger work force and changing technology. These definitions can cross over from person to person.

OWLS programming = Two work force development programs and a community Resource Fair.

#1 Skill Set Development

Information and education will be delivered in a 4 course series offering skill set development to the Spring Valley area businesses and our residents employed in the area workforce. Included is the opportunity will be the chance to learn how to participate in on line learning. On line learning allows for less travel to attend classes, flexibility for the participant's schedule, and the chance for the participants to go back and review the materials they have learned. See our attached course schedule for course content, times and locations. Programming is delivered through Rochester Community and Technical College Business Services. The first 12 applicants that apply for the skill set development courses will receive a $20.00 scholarship. Registration begins September 9th thru October 19th. Apply on line or in person by contacting Jennifer Dessner, or during office hours register at Kingsland High Community ED office. On line applications are available on the Kingsland community ED home page or at

#2 Succession Planning

Succession planning is offered to transfer knowledge and or ownership to our area work force. The Succession Planning component of the OWL Program is designed to assist business leaders in developing a plan to transition leadership or ownership of local businesses. This program will be customized to each participant's unique needs with each participating business going through one-on-one meetings and plan design sessions. The consultative process will involve business leaders meeting with the consultant to discuss how succession planning is done and what options could be explored. Then the business leaders and the consultant will work together to develop a customized succession plan for their organization. Once this process is completed the consultant will provide suggestions for future next steps to assist in the execution of the succession plan after the program is completed. The goal of this program is to maintain a strong small business base in Spring Valley. Spring Valley Businesses have been encouraged to participate in the business planning workshops and three even possibly four businesses plan to begin the succession planning component in October.

#3 Community Resource Fair

A Community Resource Fair will be held for Spring Valley residents, clergy, health professionals, educators, business leaders and more. This resource fair will be held at the end of these courses on November 15th. Participants, area professionals and area service providers will be on hand to speak ad provide information about programs that can help our area businesses, and our work force. Most importantly you will learn what more can be done as a Spring Valley resident to continue building Spring Valley into your "Community of a Lifetime". Registration for the community event is encouraged but not necessary. The resource fair will be held at Spring Valley Senior Living Center Community Room on November 15th from 4:30 -5:30pm. Our speakers will start sharply at 4:30pm and time for networking and refreshments are available afterwards.

Why was OWLS developed and who developed it?

The Spring Valley EDA identified a need in our community for succession planning and skill set development for our 45 year old and older work force. Workshops were attended and planning was done in order for the Spring Valley Economic Development Authority to submit a grant proposal to the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation competitive request for proposals. Partnerships with Spring Valley Senior Living Center, Kingsland Community Education and Rochester Community and Technical College enabled course development, in kind donations, and facilities sharing to enable the EDA to receive the grant funds. Should you have questions or you would like to participate as a presenter for the resource fair Contact: EDA Director Cathy Enerson @ 507-346-7367 Ext. #4. Registration forms are available on line at, and they should be sent to the Kinglsand Community Education Department to Jennifer Dessner at or register by visiting the Community ED office at the Kingsland Community ED office. Registrations taken thru October 19th.

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