Vision Brookings finalist for $15K award

BROOKINGS – The Vision Brookings initiative has been selected as one of seven Strong Communities Award finalists vying for the opportunity to receive $15,000, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines announced last week.

Now, Vision Brookings needs the public’s help to get enough votes to take the top prize.

First Bank & Trust, a FHLB Des Moines member financial institution, nominated Vision Brookings for the award. First Bank & Trust has partnered with around 150 private businesses and individuals to support Vision Brookings, an economic development initiative that addresses key issues to create economic development opportunities and build a sustainable economic future for the broader Brookings County community.

Since launching in 2005, Vision Brookings has raised more than $7 million for economic growth focusing on the key components of workforce development, entrepreneurship support, business development and the Research Park at SDSU. The private investment was used to leverage an additional $24.8 million from outside sources to support local projects.

“The impact of Vision Brookings over the last 10 years has been tremendous,” said Al Heuton, executive director of Brookings Economic Development Corporation and administrator of the Vision Brookings initiative. “Brookings has seen incredible progress in entrepreneurship, workforce recruitment and retention initiatives and business growth and success. Our region will continue to benefit from these efforts for years to come.”

FHLB Des Moines challenges communities to rally behind their project during a public vote taking place today through Friday.

Vision Brookings investors are asking residents to visit the Strong Communities Award homepage at and cast their vote for Brookings. The voting will serve as a component of the final selection process for the $15,000 stipend to support small business and economic development growth.

The Strong Communities Award honors the projects, the people and the programs that promote small business growth and retention in their communities.

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