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About the NWRDC

The Northwest Regional Development Commission (NWRDC) is a body of 23 local elected officials and eight public interest members that represent counties, cities, townships, school districts and special interest groups who have formed a special purpose unit of government, as authorized by the Regional Development Act of 1969, to “develop plans and implement programs which address growth and development issues” in Northwest Minnesota.

Click here to download the Commission Nomination Form

The Commission appoints a board of directors made up of one member from each county and a chairperson elected at-large to conduct its monthly business.

The Commission also appoints advisory committees to help in setting specific program direction. Committees are active in Aging, Arts, Economic Development and Transportation.

The Commission has also entered into a cooperative agreement with the Northwest Minnesota Enterprise Fund Inc. to provide program guidance on the Revolving Loan Fund.

Funding Sources

The NWRDC is authorized to levy a limited amount of local property taxes and to enter into contracts with other units of government and private foundations to operate programs and services which benefit the area. 

The NWRDC provides local match for each of their programs through the local tax levy. 


It is our goal to supplement efforts by local units of government to maintain our economic strength and improve the quality of life in Northwest Minnesota.


Regional Development Commissions were created by the State Legislature through the Regional Development Act of 1969. The intent of the Act was to create an option for rural units of government to supplement existing public services and coordinate specific activities of mutual concern. 


Although created by the state, Regional Development Commissions were left in the hands of local representatives to insure that the final design would reflect area needs and preferences.


The Northwest Regional Development Commission was created on February 2, 1973 by the joint actions of local units of government. Programs were set up to reflect priority work items of the time and relationships were established with the state and federal agencies that could provide assistance with local projects. Programs and work priorities have changed in response to economic and social trends; but, the central mission of supporting efforts by cities, counties, townships, businesses and individuals to improve living, working and natural resource conditions in Northwest Minnesota has remained the same.

The Commission has worked to establish a manner of operation which reflects and compliments the independent, progressive style of Northwest Minnesota. Our services include grants, business loans, technical assistance, grant writing, planning, direct client services, new program development, fiscal agent support, information and referral, creating partnerships and filling the gaps.

Statement of Equal Opportunity,
Nondiscrimination and Fair Housing

The Commission is an Equal Opportunity Employer and as such, makes selections without regard to race, creed, sex, national origin, political or union affiliation, marital status, age, and disability or receipt of public assistance.  Staff positions with the Commission shall be open to all persons who meet reasonable standards as may be set by the Commission and relate to the ability of the candidate to perform with reasonable efficiency the duties of the position. 


The NWRDC prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents of legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), and handicap disability.

A message from our
Executive Director 


This agency strives to be responsive, 
but also nimble enough to be able to 
address issues as disparate as flood disaster relief, border crossing hour 
reductions, workforce housing 
shortages, virtual dementia training 
for caregivers, transportation and 
transit snags and even planning 
for the possibility of a hazardous 
chemical spill from a train derailment. 


The Commission is charged with 
helping local units of government 
and the people they represent to 
“maximize the possibilities” and 
make the most of our resources 
and assets. The diversity of projects 
and programs that we offer are 
designed to help achieve a high 
quality of life and quality of place 
for our region. Support from our 
partners and stakeholders are the 
reason the NWRDC is successful 
in reaching its goals and objectives, 
and we will continue to make 
every effort to serve you. 


We appreciate your support!

Darla Waldner
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