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Editor's Note: National interest

What an issue we’re delivering to you today. And what fun it has been to put it together, given the number of stories that cover fascinating and important new developments in our region.

Start with the cover story about the growth and success of Digi-Key Electronics in Thief River Falls, Minn. For weeks I’ve been checking the Wall Street Journal’s website, because I’m convinced the Digi-Key story is of national interest, and I expect to find it on the Journal’s front page sometime soon.

The struggles of rural America played a role in the presidential election and have been much-talked-about ever since. But through it all, Digi-Key has been growing, and now the company has committed to adding another thousand workers (it already employs 3,300) to its workforce in rural Thief River Falls.

Digi-Key should expect the Journal – and the New York Times and the Washington Post – to come calling.

Speaking of rural America, you’ll not find an organization that’s making a bigger difference in that area than the Helmsley Charitable Trust, also profiled in this issue. The trust has spent more than $320 million on boosting rural health care training and delivery in the upper Midwest in just that past eight years.

Then there’s word about the vital role technology is playing in the region’s architecture offices; we’ve come a long way from pencils, T-squares and drafting paper, that’s for sure.

Top it off with (among other features) a report about innovative New Technology High School in Sioux Falls, S.D., and we think you’re in for a treat.

Good reading,

Tom Dennis