Editorial: Testing center gets plenty of supportRecent news that the city of Worthington received a $779,886 grant from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) — money secured in part through the legislative efforts of U.S. Rep. Tim Walz — is the latest boost for the planned bioscience testing and training center and business incubator.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
Recent news that the city of Worthington received a $779,886 grant from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) — money secured in part through the legislative efforts of U.S. Rep. Tim Walz — is the latest boost for the planned bioscience testing and training center and business incubator.
“In tough economic times like we’ve faced, we must make sure that we are making wise investments that pay dividends,” said Walz in a press release announcing that grant. The words “wise investment” — and where all the money for this Worthington bioscience effort has come from — are worthy of more detailed explanation.
Funding for the bioscience testing and training center began back in 2003 with a $134,000 grant from the Blandin Foundation, and in 2005, $2.5 million was secured from the State of Minnesota. A combined $410,000 from the city of Worthington and Nobles County in 2006 resulted in construction of a spec building, and the state appropriated $300,000 more the following year for testing and training center development. An additional $1 million in state funding for further development was awarded in 2008, followed by city of Worthington approval of $220,000 in fall 2009 (money effectively needed to qualify for the EDA grant just awarded). An additional $100,000 grant from Blandin was announced this past April.
“We’re leveraging all these programs to get this thing built, and the city’s portion of this is really small,” Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp. Manager Glenn Thuringer said this week. The benefits of the planned 7,500-square-foot building addition and remodeled 15,000-square-foot structure, however, will be multiple for the city. The center/incubator will ultimately enhance both educational and professional opportunities in the bioscience sector, thereby both luring people to Worthington and — hopefully — keeping them here.
The fruits of the “wise investment” won’t be harvested overnight, but plenty of seeds from plenty of sources are thankfully being planted in the meantime.