NU Forward marches on

NEW ULM — New Ulm Forward, a new organization which says it is geared to celebrating diversity, community health, an inclusive workforce and providing affordable housing, continued to gather steam, meeting at New Ulm Middle School Tuesday.

The group has created a brochure to be distributed at New Ulm’s National Night Out (NNO) in German Park July 30. It listed nine healthy community dimensions — inclusion, recreational and artistic opportunity, environmental stewardship, infrastructure and services, safety and security, community leadership, economic opportunity, spirituality and wellness and life-long learning, earlier printed by the Blandin Foundation.

The brochure, created by Shelly Bauer, includes a section on looking ahead, population change and the Minnesota workforce, according to the Committee on Immigrants and Minnesota’s Workforce and the University of Minnesota Office of the Vice President for Research.

• In the coming decades, Minnesota’s population will likely grow at a pace that is significantly slower than growth rates from previous years.

• Minnesota’s population will grow older and more radically diverse in the future, but population changes will not be equally distributed.

• It’s probable that Minnesota will be dependent on immigrants for future population growth.

• Without a future substantial increase in migration to Minnesota, the state’s labor force will likely grow much more slowly than it has in recent years. This will make filling job vacancies more challenging.

New Ulm Forward members talked about creating hand prints of children and adults at the NNO.

Jeff Bertrang mentioned the benefits of merging the organization with other local groups like the New Ulm Human Rights Commission and the New Ulm Ministerial Association.

“If these groups join us, it can open doors for grant writing that can allow this organization to continue to flourish,” Bertrang said.

The group plans to meet in Room 3 at New Ulm Middle School at 6:15 p.m. July 10.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.