The Burnsville Chamber of Commerce has named a new president.
Bill Corby, president of the Hutchinson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, will assume his new duties with the Burnsville Chamber Sept. 4.
Corby will succeed Daron Van Helden, who is departing after 10 years to join Burnsville-based Pawn America as director of community and regulatory affairs.
Founded in 1965, the Burnsville Chamber has 575 members and is among the 10 largest chambers in the Twin Cities area.
Field trip for educators
Thirty school officials from the south metro area recently spent a day touring major employers in Dakota County to learn more about how they can help solve the so-called "skills gap."
The Principals Bus Tour, attended by both principals and superintendents, was sponsored by the Dakota Regional Chamber of Commerce and River Heights Chamber of Commerce. The goal was to allow educators to hear from businesses about training and skills needed for jobs now and in the future.
Businesses involved in the tour were Waterous Co., Thomson Reuters, Flint Hills Resources and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
The chambers and the school districts plan to create a task force to develop a plan to address the skills gap in Dakota County. Among other things, the group hopes to develop mentorships with regional businesses and create programs to change curriculum to solve what businesses say is the dearth of trained workers.
More senior housing for Burnsville
Burnsville is expanding its senior housing options in two building projects.
Construction began last week on a $12-million addition to Ebenezer Management Services' Arbors at Ridges campus. The new building will have 63 assisted-care apartments and is expected to be completed early next year, according to Burnsville Economic Development Coordinator Skip Nienhaus.
When completed, the building will house residents of an existing 44-unit building on the Arbors campus, Nienhaus said. The older building will be converted to units for residents with memory-care needs.
Meanwhile, another senior project on the former site of Valley Ridge Shopping Center is nearly complete, Nienhaus said. Presbyterian Homes will handle property management at the 140-unit development, which is retaining the Valley Ridge name. The project was overseen by the Dakota County Community Development Agency.
Commercial expansion in Lakeville
Construction of new commercial and industrial buildings continues to languish in the Twin Cities and nationwide, but the latest permit figures from Lakeville show an uptick in renovating and expanding non-residential properties.
The city issued commercial and industrial permits with a total valuation of about $8.1 million through July, up slightly from $7.8 million during the same period in 2011. Most of that growth came from remodeling and additions to existing properties.
Meanwhile, homebuilding in Lakeville continues a strong rebound. The city issued permits for 139 single-family homes through July with a total valuation of $40.3 million. This compares to 67 permits valued at $20.8 million through July of 2011.
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