2015–2016 Partner: Carver County

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RCP’s community partner for the 2015–2016 academic year was Carver County, located 20 miles southwest of Minneapolis. Participants in the year-long collaboration included four divisions at Carver County (Administrative Services, Planning and Water Management, Public Health, and Social Services), the Carver County Community Development Agency, SouthWest Transit, Eastern Carver County School District (ISD 112), the Carver County Historical Society, and the Cities of Victoria, Chaska, and Watertown.

Carver County is the least populated of the seven Twin CIties metro area counties, but it is also one of the state's (and the nation's) fastest-growing. Although the population is predominantly white, an increasing number of people of color are moving to the county, and a growing percentage of students speak a language other than English at home. Farming was the primary means of livelihood in Carver County for its first 100 years, and although farming is no longer the chief occupation, Carver County retains its rural character, and much of the land in the western portion of the county is still in agricultural production. In more recent decades, The county has seen an explosion of residential development in the Cities of Chaska (the county seat), Chanhassen, Waconia, Carver, and Victoria during the last few decades, and many residents of these communities commute to jobs in Minneapolis or its suburbs. Carver County also has a strong manufacturing and bioscience industry base, with major employers including Entegris, Rosemount, Supervalu, Lake Region Medical Manufacturing, Beckman Coulter, and General Mills. With its population expected to nearly double to more than 155,000 by 2040, Carver County faces both challenges and opportunities in the coming decades as it strives to become a more sustainable, resilient, and livable community.

RCP partnered with Carver County on 29 projects that were matched with 50 courses across 22 academic departments at the University of Minnesota, engaging more than 350 graduate, professional, and upper-division undergraduate students to work on the County's behalf. You can view a brief summary of the partnership and projects, or learn more about individual projects on the Carver County Projects page.

RCP-Carver County Partnership in the News:

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