DEED Developments blog | Department of Employment and Economic Development | State of Minnesota en-us Minnesota’s Angel Tax Credit Program Targets Women, Minorities and Greater Minnesota Businesses in 2016 Fri, 06 Nov 2015 12:00:00 -0600 State of Minnesota Open for business: The Minnesota Angel Tax Credit Program is now accepting certification applications online for 2016.

America’s Top State for Business – Cost of Doing Business Thu, 24 Sep 2015 09:49:56 -0500 State of Minnesota

When choosing where to do business, cost is a major consideration. Calculating it requires weighing many factors – from tax rates and utilities to labor costs and other expenses.

CNBC named Minnesota America’s Top State for Business, but expressed some surprise that Minnesota made it to the top of their rankings despite a reputation for being “a high-tax, high-wage, union-friendly state.”

America’s Top State for Business – Access to Capital Thu, 17 Sep 2015 15:24:03 -0500 State of Minnesota

Minnesota is gaining a reputation as a place where entrepreneurs can get the startup funding they need. For instance, a recent CNET article called Minnesota a “Silicon Prairie” where tech startups can have an easier time getting funding than in Silicon Valley.

America’s Top State for Business – Technology and Innovation Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:30:44 -0500 State of Minnesota When CNBC named Minnesota America’s Top State for Business 2015, it mentioned three well-known inventions that were born here: Spam, Scotch Tape and the supercomputer. Over the years since these were invented, Minnesota’s culture of innovation has produced a steady stream of trailblazing patents, products and breakthroughs.

$3.7M Angel Tax Credits for Women-owned Businesses Still Available Tue, 25 Aug 2015 08:30:00 -0500 State of Minnesota

DEED’s Angel Tax Credit Program offers a financial boost to businesses owned by women, but that funding will end Oct. 1.

There is a remaining $3.7 million in Angel Tax credits (as of Aug. 24) for businesses owned by women or minorities, or based in Greater Minnesota. After Oct. 1, any remaining tax credits not allocated to these designated groups will be made available to others.

America’s Top State for Business – Cost of Living Tue, 18 Aug 2015 13:57:43 -0500 State of Minnesota A competitive cost of living can be a key advantage for states that want to attract workers and keep them. If the cost of living is reasonable, workers will be able to afford housing, food, health care and transportation. Their wages will go further and they will enjoy a higher standard of living.

Mexico's Innovation and High Tech Make Big Impression on Trade Delegation Mon, 17 Aug 2015 10:00:00 -0500 State of Minnesota

Gov. Mark Dayton and an official delegation are back in Minnesota after a week-long trade mission to Mexico. And they’ve come home very impressed with the sophisticated technology and business operations they saw.

Minnesota and Mexico: A Partnership Rooted in Agriculture Fri, 14 Aug 2015 10:30:00 -0500 State of Minnesota

Manufactured goods make up the lion’s share of Minnesota’s exports, but the world has a healthy appetite for the bounty of Minnesota’s farms. We’re the nation’s 3rd-largest agricultural exporter, selling $8 billion in foreign markets in 2013.

Across Borders: Empowering Women in Agriculture Thu, 13 Aug 2015 10:30:00 -0500 State of Minnesota

Women play key roles in agriculture in Minnesota and Mexico. And they also face unique obstacles.

That’s why Minnesota and Mexico are signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) this week focusing on the ways women in agriculture can work together to help educate and support each other. The Women in Agriculture and Business MOU is one of five collaborations being signed during Gov. Mark Dayton’s trade mission to Mexico this week.

A Brief History of Minnesota Trade Missions Wed, 12 Aug 2015 09:45:35 -0500 State of Minnesota

Gov. Mark Dayton spent the day Tuesday meeting with officials from Mexico's ministries of foreign affairs, agriculture, public education, as well as its trade and foreign investment arm.

While leading his fourth international trade mission, the governor promoted the state's exports, encouraged Mexican companies to startup and expand in Minnesota (or move existing U.S. operations here), inked cooperative agreements on agriculture and education, toured the facilities of a Minnesota-based company operating in Mexico, and met with executives of major U.S. companies operating in Mexico.

And that's just the beginning.

Why We Go on Trade Missions Tue, 11 Aug 2015 10:00:00 -0500 State of Minnesota

When a Minnesota delegation heads off to a foreign market on a governor’s trade mission, the participants can have very different motivations for going on the trip and very different things they hope to accomplish in the target market.

So, who goes – and why?

Four Billion Reasons to Visit Mexico Mon, 10 Aug 2015 15:16:36 -0500 State of Minnesota

This week, Gov. Mark Dayton is leading a 36-delegate trade mission to Mexico. The delegation – which includes representatives from business, agriculture and education – will travel with the governor to Mexico City and Guadalajara.

America's Top State for Business - Workforce Wed, 05 Aug 2015 10:45:09 -0500 State of Minnesota

Workforce was the most heavily weighted category in CNBC’s “America’s Top States for Business” 2015 ranking. That’s good for Minnesota, since it highlights one of our strongest assets – our people.

America’s Top State for Business – Business Friendliness Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:55:00 -0500 State of Minnesota

Minnesota punches above its weight when it comes to major corporations, with 17 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the state, including powerhouses like 3M, General Mills, Target and U.S. Bancorp. The success of those homegrown businesses says a lot about the business climate of the state. Minnesota has business-friendly policies and programs that make it possible for companies to not only survive but thrive here.

America's Top State For Business - Quality of Life Wed, 22 Jul 2015 14:53:05 -0500 State of Minnesota

Outstanding quality of life is a key reason CNBC named Minnesota as “America’s Top State for Business 2015” in June.

America’s Top State for Business – Infrastructure Thu, 09 Jul 2015 09:07:28 -0500 State of Minnesota Structural assets that help move people and goods – roads, bridges, airports, shipping facilities and mass transportation – contribute greatly to the success of any state. They’re all grouped under that not-so-cuddly topic called infrastructure.

America’s Top State for Business – Economy Wed, 08 Jul 2015 15:48:14 -0500 State of Minnesota

Minnesota has been booming since the end of the recession, adding nearly 200,000 jobs in the past four years alone and boasting one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 3.8 percent. Total jobs in the state went above 3 million in the past year for the first time ever.

America’s Top State for Business – Education Mon, 29 Jun 2015 14:51:08 -0500 State of Minnesota

It hardly came as a surprise that Minnesota ranked high in education when CNBC crowned the state “America’s Top State for Business 2015” last week.

CNBC Names Minnesota Top State For Business Thu, 25 Jun 2015 10:12:39 -0500 State of Minnesota In its 2015 ranking of “America’s Top States for Business,” Minnesota claimed the top spot - moving the state up from sixth place in 2014.
Duluth greets foreign journalists Wed, 24 Jun 2015 09:00:00 -0500 State of Minnesota

Amy Hyun, correspondent for the Korea Times based in Chicago, is attracted to stories about the U.S. economy and connections between Minnesota and Korea. Soichi Inai, U.S. correspondent for the Japanese newspaper Nikkei, and Kenichiro Miyaki, U.S. correspondent for the Japanese wire service Jiji Press, are looking for the Minnesota-Japan connection.

Introducing Minnesota Tue, 23 Jun 2015 13:39:21 -0500 State of Minnesota

Ruben Barrera’s journalistic career has taken him from Mexico to Latin America and Texas. Now the correspondent for the Mexico City-based wire service Notimex is heading farther north to learn about Minnesota.

BIO 2015 in Philadelphia, Pa. See you at #311 Thu, 11 Jun 2015 12:00:00 -0500 State of Minnesota

You should be hearing a lot about 311 – and we don’t mean the Omaha, Neb. rock band or number to access non-emergency municipal services. 

DEED rolls out Career Profile tool Thu, 04 Jun 2015 11:00:00 -0500 State of Minnesota

Say you’re interested in becoming an application software developer, living in the Twin Cities and want to stay there. What’s the demand for this occupation? How much does it pay? Can the pay meet the basic cost of living in the Twin Cities?

Training for Lueken’s Village Foods workforce emphasizes sustainability and aquaponics Thu, 28 May 2015 08:00:00 -0500 State of Minnesota

Lueken’s Village Foods is poised to make a culture shift -- and take the city of Bemidji along for the ride.

Hanson Willis Discusses DEED’s Role in Developing, Retaining Older Workforce at U of MN Think Tank Tue, 19 May 2015 09:00:00 -0500 State of Minnesota Today DEED Deputy Commissioner Jeremy Hanson Willis joins experts and community leaders from the University of Minnesota and across the state to talk about issues related to aging and the agency’s role in developing and retaining older workers in Minnesota.

Business First Stop touches St. Cloud foundry expansion at ‘speed of commerce’ Tue, 28 Apr 2015 08:30:00 -0500 State of Minnesota

When Lt. Governor Tina Smith congratulated Grede Holdings LLC’s $17.5 million expansion in St. Cloud, she hat-tipped Minnesota Business First Stop.

Dislocated Worker Program a unique insurance policy against economic churn Tue, 21 Apr 2015 02:00:00 -0500 State of Minnesota

An economy clipping along is no preventative against layoffs.

Job Vacancies in Minnesota at Highest Level Since 2001 Tue, 14 Apr 2015 14:07:46 -0500 State of Minnesota

Minnesota employers are adding jobs – and at a record level. According to DEED’s latest Job Vacancy Survey findings, Minnesota has nearly 90,000 open jobs – that’s the most in nearly 14 years.

Study Minnesota Arab States Reception a Success Tue, 07 Apr 2015 12:34:41 -0500 State of Minnesota

Recently, 125 representatives from colleges and universities across Minnesota gathered in Washington D.C. to meet with diplomatic and educational leaders from the Middle East for the 2015 Arab States Reception.

Construction on New Education and Career Center Begins this Summer Tue, 31 Mar 2015 13:23:07 -0500 State of Minnesota

The West Broadway Education and Career Center, a new service center focused on providing education and workforce development opportunities and health services in one North Minneapolis location, is expected to open next summer.

Titan Training: A dual-track approach Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:05:00 -0500 State of Minnesota

Recently Northland Community and Technical College received a $293,378 Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Program grant to train 75 employees of Titan Machinery, Inc. in northwest Minnesota.

Understanding January Employment Data Tue, 17 Mar 2015 10:10:08 -0500 State of Minnesota

Recently, DEED announced Minnesota’s latest employment numbers for January 2015. The most notable update was the state’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent. Comparatively, the national unemployment rate for January was 5.7 percent.

Governor Dayton to Lead Trade Mission to Mexico, Promote State Tue, 10 Mar 2015 15:21:18 -0500 State of Minnesota

Governor Mark Dayton will lead a trade mission to Mexico Aug. 9-14. Besides helping Minnesota companies find business opportunities in Mexico, the governor hopes to attract Mexican investments to Minnesota and promote the state as a great place to do business.

What's New with the Angel Tax Credit Program Thu, 05 Mar 2015 14:34:28 -0600 State of Minnesota

DEED’s Angel Tax Credit Program has attracted millions of dollars in private investments for high-tech startups in Minnesota.

Minnesota’s Clean Energy Economy Thu, 19 Feb 2015 09:31:24 -0600 State of Minnesota The clean energy sector – businesses specializing in wind, solar, bio, energy efficiency and the smart grid – is one of Minnesota’s fastest-growing and most promising industries.

Trade in Minnesota Exports Strengthens in 2014 Thu, 12 Feb 2015 14:20:47 -0600 State of Minnesota 2014 was a strong year for Minnesota exports. Here are a few of the accomplishments made this past year by the Minnesota Trade Office (MTO), which works to boost exports and increase foreign direct investment (FDI).

Jobs and Investments Drive Economic Growth in 2014 Mon, 09 Feb 2015 13:05:58 -0600 State of Minnesota

Minnesota’s economy took a big step forward in 2014, with the unemployment rate dropping to its lowest level in nearly 14 years and employers creating more than 33,000 jobs. Employment reached an all-time high in the state and showed every indication of continuing to grow in 2015.
Help for Small Businesses Thu, 29 Jan 2015 12:30:32 -0600 State of Minnesota Minnesota is blessed with a wealth of Fortune 500 companies, including 3M, General Mills and Target. But small businesses form the core of the Minnesota economy, with more than 500,000 of them employing 1.2 million people. Altogether, small businesses account for 97.8 percent of all employers in the state.

DEED’s Mission to Help Unemployed Minnesotans Stays Strong Thu, 22 Jan 2015 09:06:06 -0600 State of Minnesota In 2014, we held strong to our mission of putting mighty Minnesotans back to work. More than 190,000 jobs have been added to our economy in the past four years. Looking Back on DEED’s 2014 Accomplishments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 15:54:50 -0600 State of Minnesota

In January of 2014, the state’s unemployment rate was 4.7 percent. With an 18 percent reduction in unemployment insurance claims compared to the year before, Minnesotans were getting back to work. Last year at this time, it seemed like Minnesota had finally put the Great Recession in its rear-view mirror.

But even with the good news going into the New Year, we still couldn’t have predicted all of the success we were about to realize collectively in 2014.

DEED Goes to Work to Give Vets a Certain Future Thu, 15 Jan 2015 08:13:33 -0600 State of Minnesota

In 2014 DEED’s work to strengthen talent, innovation and trade in the state made tremendous headway. Clearly, Minnesota veterans embody an enormous amount of talent. Here are some ways DEED burnished their credentials even more.



DEED Seeks Funding to Help Minnesota’s Long-Term Unemployed Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:17:04 -0600 State of Minnesota

Last month, DEED and the Minnesota Department of Human Services applied for federal funding that would provide training for long-term unemployed Minnesotans, enabling them to transition out of public assistance.

Great Holiday Gifts from Made in Minnesota Directory Businesses Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:10:35 -0600 State of Minnesota

Most everyone is thinking about the holidays – and for many people that means shopping for just the right gift for friends and family.

The Made in Minnesota directory , launched in 2013 by DEED, provides the perfect venue to shop for holiday gifts while supporting the local economy. And in the spirit of Cyber Monday, some of these companies offer especially good shopping opportunities online.

Angel Tax Credit Program Attracts Investment for Mill Creek Wed, 05 Nov 2014 10:30:00 -0600 State of Minnesota

Judy K. Lundy, president, COO and cofounder at Mill Creek Life Sciences LLC, a company that developed a better protein supplement to grow stem cells, found that getting investors for funds to commercialize her company’s product wasn’t easy.

Working With Your Hands and Mind Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:40:32 -0500 State of Minnesota

Precision metal manufacturing is a growing field in Minnesota, with plenty of job openings expected in the coming years. Machine operator Altheha DrePaul talks about her job and why she values a career in manufacturing.

Minnesota – Home to Innovative Business and Cool Products Thu, 16 Oct 2014 10:14:33 -0500 State of Minnesota

Minnesota is known as the best place to live, work and play. And it’s the 10th most innovative state in the U.S., according to 2014 rankings by Bloomberg.

Check out Manufacturing Careers Thu, 09 Oct 2014 10:00:00 -0500 State of Minnesota

If you’re a student or other career explorer, you’ll want to check out manufacturing jobs. Workers in the field say it’s rewarding to make a product, great to have a well-paying job and pleasant to work in a modern and clean environment. And with Minnesota Manufacturers Week set for Oct. 19-25, now’s an excellent time to learn more about Minnesota's manufacturing industries

DEED Celebrates Manufacturing in MN Tue, 07 Oct 2014 13:22:39 -0500 State of Minnesota

This month we’re highlighting the manufacturing sector in Minnesota. Robust, versatile and always leading the pack, Minnesota's manufacturing sector is the backbone of the state's economy. Minnesota’s manufacturers produce everything from high-tech electronics to high-end food products and everything in between. Minnesota manufacturers are known the world over for high quality and innovation.

Minnesota Economy Continues to Make Progress, but Challenges Remain Fri, 29 Aug 2014 14:12:07 -0500 State of Minnesota

Despite the length of our recovery and the jobs that we have regained, the severity of the recession and the often feeble nature of employment growth still leave us shy of a complete recovery.

Making a Living Making Things Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:18:19 -0500 State of Minnesota

Anyone walking into a manufacturing plant today would see a stark contrast from what was common in the last century. 

Much progress has been made toward correcting safety and health concerns of yesteryear and promoting a vibrant workplace. One thing hasn’t changed, though. The industry remains an important source of jobs, both nationally and in Minnesota.

Northern Minnesota Health Care Industry in Good Shape Thu, 07 Aug 2014 10:14:25 -0500 State of Minnesota

Northern Minnesota, traditionally home to a strong goods-producing sector, was hit hard by the Great Recession. The economy is still solidly grounded in its rich natural resources and strong manufacturing base, but the health care and social assistance sector weathered the recession to emerge as the largest employer in the region.

Minnesota Momentum: The Nation is Taking Notice Thu, 03 Jul 2014 17:03:09 -0500 State of Minnesota

While the national economy still isn't firing on all cylinders, the engine is really revving up in Minnesota. Lots of good things are happening, and business pundits, economic analysts and list makers from around the country are taking notice. Here are just a few of the recent accolades that have come our way.

Veterans benefit from DEED services Thu, 26 Jun 2014 11:30:01 -0500 State of Minnesota

We’ve all seen the magnetic yellow ribbons on cars and the “Support Our Troops” bumper stickers, but it’s good to know that there are people who put that support into action and make a difference in veterans’ lives.  DEED’s veterans employment representatives are some of those people.  

Labor Secretary Perez Visits Burnsville WorkForce Center Tue, 20 May 2014 13:56:38 -0500 State of Minnesota U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez packed a lot of activities into his visit to the Twin Cities last Friday, including touring DEED’s Burnsville WorkForce Center and participating in a roundtable with workforce development professionals.

Commissioner Highlights Bonding Proposal to Fund Civic Center Expansion in Mankato Fri, 09 May 2014 11:30:00 -0500 State of Minnesota

DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben visited the Mankato area for a day of site visits with local businesses and stopped at the Verizon Wireless Center to highlight Gov. Mark Dayton’s bonding proposal that would provide the city $14.5 million to fund an addition to it. 

Measuring Employment Outcomes for Graduates Thu, 08 May 2014 08:53:51 -0500 State of Minnesota

When students decide to major in a field of study, they often lack important information about labor market outcomes. Are there jobs in their field? What do they pay? Is the industry stable enough to ensure long-term employment?


Commissioners Visit Bonding Projects at NHED colleges Mon, 05 May 2014 14:30:56 -0500 State of Minnesota

DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben and Office of Higher Education Commissioner Larry Pogemiller visited International Falls, Grand Rapids and Hibbing to underscore their support for $3.3 million in bonding that Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing for four Northeast Higher Education District (NHED) colleges. They are Hibbing, Itasca, Rainy River and Vermilion community colleges. 

The Great Recession and Disability Employment Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:25:44 -0500 State of Minnesota

The Great Recession sent shock waves through the U.S. labor market, with more than 8 million people, including 160,000 Minnesotans, losing their jobs from the end of 2007 through 2009. People with disabilities were among the hardest hit populations during that period, with their employment rates declining even more dramatically than the general population.

New DEED Fund Getting Results Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:30:32 -0500 State of Minnesota

The Minnesota Job Creation Fund is starting to pay dividends.

Since the new program was launched in January, DEED officials have approved funding for eight Minnesota expansion projects that are expected to create 435 jobs in the next few years.
Keep on Truckin' Tue, 22 Apr 2014 08:46:40 -0500 State of Minnesota

Like a lot of industries these days, the trucking and transportation sector is thinking about its future workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average age of a commercial truck driver in the United States is 55. Who exactly is going to fill those and other driving jobs when baby boomers start turning in their ignition keys in the next few years?

Employment Makes Solid Gains in March Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:11:38 -0500 State of Minnesota

Minnesota employment rebounded with solid growth in March after a slow start to the year that might have been related to the state’s worst winter in three decades.

State Officials Visit M State Bonding Project Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:17:13 -0500 State of Minnesota
Commissioners from two Minnesota state agencies visited Moorhead to show their support for $6.54 million in bonding that Gov. Mark Dayton is recommending for Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M State). M State is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.
State Officials Make Bonding Visit to Dakota County Technical College Fri, 11 Apr 2014 08:43:18 -0500 State of Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’s higher education bonding bill is the focus of a statewide tour underway, with visits this week at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities campuses in Rosemount and Moorhead. The Evolution of Minnesota’s Jobs Thu, 03 Apr 2014 12:48:23 -0500 State of Minnesota

With the recovery in full swing, Minnesotans are heading off to work each day in record numbers. Minnesota’s nonfarm wage and salary employment reached a record high last year and was just 5,200 workers short of crossing the 3 million mark in February.


A Year to Remember Tue, 01 Apr 2014 13:05:04 -0500 State of Minnesota

There are many ways to measure the economic success of a state, from looking at the unemployment rate to tracking job creation and measuring the value of goods and services produced. Another indicator is the number of business expansions over the past year. If 2013 is any indication, then Minnesota’s economy is on a hot streak.

Minnesota's Liquid Assets Thu, 20 Mar 2014 09:24:09 -0500 State of Minnesota

Minnesota knows water, and not just because it has 10,000 lakes.

Some of the leading water technology companies in the country have operations in Minnesota, including Ecolab, 3M, GE, Pentair and Aeration Industries. More than 15,500 people work in the Minnesota water sector, and the state ranks among the top 10 exporters of water and water technology in the United States, producing foreign sales of $729 million in 2012.

Late-Year Surge Drives Export Growth Tue, 18 Mar 2014 12:14:59 -0500 State of Minnesota

Minnesota exports came on strong late last year, growing at their fastest quarterly rate in more than two years.

Kathleen Motzenbecker, executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office, said this morning that state exports of manufactured, agricultural and mining products grew to $5.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 6 percent increase from the same period a year earlier. U.S. export growth during that period was 4 percent.

State Adds Jobs for Sixth Straight Month Thu, 13 Mar 2014 13:13:54 -0500 State of Minnesota

Despite one of the coldest Januaries in recent memory, Minnesota employers continued to add jobs during the month.

DEED released figures this morning that showed the state gained 600 jobs in January – the sixth consecutive month of job growth in Minnesota. Total employment in the state is now over 2.8 million for the first time in history.

Water Technology Summit Wed, 26 Feb 2014 09:33:57 -0600 State of Minnesota

Water technology is big business in Minnesota, accounting for more than $729 million in foreign sales alone in 2012. Minnesota is among the top 10 exporters nationally of water and wastewater treatment technology, and the industry employs nearly 15,500 people in the state, including engineers, hydrologists and conservation scientists.

Help Wanted in the Manufacturing Sector Wed, 19 Feb 2014 10:31:31 -0600 State of Minnesota

Manufacturers throughout the state are struggling to fill openings, according to the latest round of DEED’s Minnesota Hiring Difficulties Survey. Based on a survey of manufacturers last spring, two-thirds of the industry’s job openings in Minnesota were classified as hard to fill.

Minnesota’s Low-Wage Sector Fri, 14 Feb 2014 10:32:20 -0600 State of Minnesota

A proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage generated a lot of debate in the Minnesota Legislature last year and is expected to come up again in the next session. The minimum wage in Minnesota generally is $7.25 an hour, although it can be as low as $5.25 in certain cases. In the 2014 session, state lawmakers are expected to debate whether to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour, phased in over a three-year period.

Making a House a Home Mon, 10 Feb 2014 15:05:00 -0600 State of Minnesota

Along with the housing industry, kitchen cabinet manufacturing in central Minnesota is simmering again. Jobs in the 13-county region jumped 27.4 percent from 2010 to 2012, which was more than five times as fast as the state as a whole, which gained 4.8 percent.

Future Jobs in Construction Thu, 06 Feb 2014 10:56:03 -0600 State of Minnesota

Today’s sold out Minnesota Construction Industry Conference in Bloomington is an opportunity for industry professionals to network and to learn more about new state programs, services, and regulations and rules.

The conference also offers a chance for the industry to take stock of where it’s been and where it’s headed.

A Tale of 25 Cities Thu, 30 Jan 2014 09:51:53 -0600 State of Minnesota

Last August, Minnesota achieved a milestone when DEED announced the state had recovered all the jobs that were lost in the recession. But not all cities in the state have fared the same in the recovery, with some still struggling to bring job totals back to pre-recessionary levels.

Construction Industry Conference Mon, 27 Jan 2014 11:36:02 -0600 State of Minnesota

The Minnesota construction sector was among the industries that suffered the most during the recession, losing thousands of jobs when the housing sector collapsed. But the industry has shown remarkable resiliency in recent years, especially in the past 12 months, when it added 6,500 jobs statewide, a healthy 7.5 percent growth rate that easily outpaced the 2.2 percent growth rate nationally during that period.

Another Strong Month for Minnesota Jobs Thu, 23 Jan 2014 13:34:09 -0600 State of Minnesota

Minnesota continues to rack up some impressive numbers in a recovery that is now in its 52nd month.

In the latest state employment numbers announced today, DEED said Minnesota employers added 9,500 jobs in December, bringing total job gains in the state to 45,900 in the past year. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.6 percent, well below the U.S. unemployment rate of 6.7 percent.

Roll Out the Barrels Thu, 16 Jan 2014 09:07:28 -0600 State of Minnesota

Minnesota has a rich beer-making tradition, with the state at one time being home to more than 120 breweries. Pummeled by Prohibition, the Great Depression, industry consolidations and competition from national brands, the state’s breweries had declined to four by the 1980s.

Minnesota Job Creation Fund Fri, 10 Jan 2014 15:10:02 -0600 State of Minnesota

When Gov. Mark Dayton introduced his two-year budget plan last year, he made it clear that one of his highest priorities was to create jobs and make Minnesota more attractive for businesses. He proposed a number of tools, including the Minnesota Job Creation Fund, which recently began taking applications from qualified businesses.

Future Workforce Closes in on Achievement Gap Fri, 15 Nov 2013 11:36:20 -0600 State of Minnesota

Minnesota is making significant progress in narrowing the achievement gap between white students and students of color, national test results show.

Minnesota China Center Builds Ties with Business Community Fri, 18 Oct 2013 10:44:08 -0500 State of Minnesota

A group of business leaders from the Twin Cities metropolitan area heard about the opportunities and challenges presented by China’s market at the China Business Roundtable Luncheon on Oct. 8 in Minneapolis. The purpose was to continue strengthening ties between the Minnesota Center China and the local business community.

The Long Climb Back Thu, 17 Oct 2013 09:42:30 -0500 State of Minnesota

Personal income in Minnesota plunged during the Great Recession, driven by a combination of job losses, reduced work hours, delayed raises, wage cuts and other factors. Many of those factors have reversed direction since then, helping to boost real per capita income over the last three years.


Matching Jobs With Training Tue, 15 Oct 2013 16:15:44 -0500 State of Minnesota Workforce development programs generally link their training to fields that need workers, such as health care and precision manufacturing. After all, it doesn’t make sense to train people for occupations that don’t have any openings. A Look at Job Vacancies Fri, 11 Oct 2013 16:00:02 -0500 State of Minnesota

We’ve seen much evidence in recent months of a recovering economy in Minnesota. The unemployment rate is at a five-year low, requests for jobless benefits continue to slide and the state’s gross domestic product is among the fastest growing in the country.

A Closer Look at Employment Thu, 10 Oct 2013 15:43:31 -0500 State of Minnesota

The Minnesota unemployment rate and job figures get a lot of attention when they are announced on the third Thursday of every month, frequently attracting front-page newspaper coverage statewide. Reporters and economists analyze the numbers and interpret what they say about the economy. While there are plenty of other ways to look at our economic performance, the monthly unemployment rate and job figures are arguably the most closely watched barometer in Minnesota.

Why Northwest Minnesota Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:39:58 -0500 State of Minnesota

Think of northwestern Minnesota as the state’s sugar bowl.

Abundant ag resources – from wheat to sugar beets – fuel the region’s thriving food processing industry. Sugar beets make a substantial contribution to the Minnesota-North Dakota economy. Standout food manufacturing firms include American Crystal, Dean Foods and Lamb Weston which together employ nearly 1,500 people.

Why Minnesota: Central Tue, 24 Sep 2013 14:39:48 -0500 State of Minnesota

Manufacturing is king in central Minnesota.

More than 28,000 people work in manufacturing in the region, making everything from gears to soaps to engines. Major companies include New Flyer (buses), Cold Spring Granite (stone products) and American Crystal Sugar (food products).

Chicago-based International Trade Commissioners Visit Minnesota Life Science Companies Thu, 19 Sep 2013 08:54:12 -0500 State of Minnesota

CITCA Group photo

Twenty-two members of the Chicago International Trade Commissioner’s Association (CITCA), focused on opportunities and partnerships in the life sciences sector, were in the Twin Cities on Sept. 17-18, hosted by the Minnesota Trade Office.

CITCA comprises trade representatives from foreign governments that are based in Chicago. CITCA members representing Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Flanders, France, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico and South Africa participated in the Minnesota biosciences tour.

Why Minnesota: Southwest Wed, 18 Sep 2013 14:41:04 -0500 State of Minnesota

Southwestern Minnesota is the breadbasket of the state, producing 700 million bushels of corn, 140 million bushels of soybeans, 10 million turkeys and 5.5 million hogs annually. The region has nearly 26,000 farms generating more than $6.5 billion worth of commodities each year.

But farming is only part of the story in this remarkably diverse 27-county region.

LifeScience Alley Forum: BIO CEO Talks Biotech in St. Paul Mon, 16 Sep 2013 12:52:18 -0500 State of Minnesota

What does it take to have a sustainable, scalable biotech industry?

Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) CEO Jim Greenwood will speak at a free public forum on The BioScience Economy: Challenges & Opportunities for Minnesota and Beyond , 10 a.m. to noon, Wed., Sept. 18 at the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota. Greenwood will help Minnesotans understand where the biotech industry is heading and how we can sustain industry growth.

The forum is sponsored by LifeScience Alley, the largest state affiliate of BIO. BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations.

Southeast Minnesota SBDC Helps Deliver Dough for Domino’s Thu, 12 Sep 2013 12:59:26 -0500 State of Minnesota

Marty Gritz is not afraid of the sauce. From pizza maker, delivery driver and counter help to assistant manager and manager, Marty has held nearly every job at many locations in different states during his long career with Domino’s.

Marty’s experience with the Domino’s Pizza franchise and desire to put his Thunderbird School of Global Management master’s degree to use inspired him to purchase his first store in Mason City, Iowa in 2005. Things took off from there.

Why Minnesota: Southeast Mon, 09 Sep 2013 14:41:13 -0500 State of Minnesota

Southeastern Minnesota is the heart of the state’s health care and agricultural industries.

Anchored by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, the region’s health care sector draws people from around the world and fuels the state’s prominent medical device sector. In Olmsted County alone, where Rochester is located, more than 38,000 people work in health care jobs.

Making the Choice to Become Business Owners Wed, 04 Sep 2013 13:01:23 -0500 State of Minnesota

Sometimes the path to owning a small business isn’t always direct or even undertaken early in life.

Jason Brodina, Joe Kapaun and Cheri Ware brought together 65 years of experience in physical and occupational therapy before deciding to take the plunge to running their own business, Choice Therapy. Choice Therapy provides physical, occupational and speech therapy to customers in Bemidji and the surrounding communities.

During the business startup phase, their lender referred them to the Northwest SBDC. The SBDC assisted Choice Therapy with pro-forma statements, cash flow projections, and a business plan to get their first loan. “All we had to do was pass on the work that was completed with the SBDC to the bank, and they approved us instantly,” Joe Kapaun said.

Why Minnesota: Twin Cities Tue, 03 Sep 2013 14:44:28 -0500 State of Minnesota The Twin Cities is an economic powerhouse, generating 64,400 new jobs in the past year and boasting the second-lowest unemployment rate among major U.S. metropolitan areas at 4.9 percent. Narrowing the Employment Gap Fri, 30 Aug 2013 13:15:00 -0500 State of Minnesota

We’re seeing plenty of signs that the state is healing from the recession. Our unemployment rate is at 5.2 percent – among the lowest unemployment rates in the United States. We’re creating jobs at a record pace that likely means we will surpass our pre-recessionary jobs peak sometime this year.

However, we don’t talk as much about the difference in Minnesota unemployment rates by race and ethnicity.

Minnesota Workforce: Quality and Employment Data Wed, 28 Aug 2013 13:17:01 -0500 State of Minnesota

Employers relocating to Minnesota often tell DEED’s Business and Community Development representatives that the quality of the workforce is one of the driving factors. But what does quality mean?

Does equality equate with educational attainment? Labor force participation rate? The hard-to quantify — yet frequently heard – tireless work ethic? Rate of absenteeism? The quality of the workforce likely means different things to different employers.

Program Helps Minnesota Workers Re-tool Fri, 23 Aug 2013 13:18:49 -0500 State of Minnesota

Workers who are laid off often struggle to find a new job, and many aren’t in a financial position to spend a lot of time training or studying for new careers. The good news is that thousands of Minnesotans are finding help every year through DEED’s Dislocated Worker Program, one of the agency’s premier education programs.

A Commitment to Education Wed, 21 Aug 2013 13:20:51 -0500 State of Minnesota

Because a skilled workforce is closely tied to the health of the economy, DEED’s economic development strategy includes programs that focus on training and education.

One of those programs is the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership, which provides funding that enables businesses and educational institutions to work together to develop customized training for workers. Employees benefit because they can learn new skills, and the program is often used as an incentive to keep companies in the state or to attract new businesses and jobs.

Fitness Buff Believed and Achieved Tue, 20 Aug 2013 13:22:37 -0500 State of Minnesota

Although River Valley Fitness opened its 24-hour doors in September 2012, owner Taunya Swenson still pinches herself when she walks into the gym.

Swenson, a certified personal trainer and fitness buff, was determined to share her love of the health and fitness industry with the southwestern Minnesota community of Windom. For assistance she contacted the Southwest Regional Small Business Development Center’s Director Liz Struve, who helped craft a feasibility and business plan. SBDC consultant Ruth Ann Karty provided financial analysis and loan packaging counsel.

Minnesota’s Secret Weapon: Educated Workers Mon, 19 Aug 2013 13:24:27 -0500 State of Minnesota

When companies start looking for a place to expand, one factor they consider is the quality of the workforce. Businesses want to know that a region has enough workers with the education and training to get the job done. Fortunately, a strong education system is a Minnesota hallmark.

New Social Media Guide Offered to Businesses Fri, 16 Aug 2013 13:26:08 -0500 State of Minnesota

Increasingly social media is being used by small and large businesses to engage with potential and existing customers, market their products, enhance customer service and drive sales. This presents both opportunities and challenges for businesses that aren’t always aware of the legal and business implications of the use (and misuse) of social media. And aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses especially need to know what these are.

That’s one reason why DEED has made available the Legal Guide to the Use of Social Media in the Workplace. The book is aimed at providing practical guidance on the legal issues a business should consider when using social media.

The book helps businesses navigate an array of laws and regulations, and offers best practices and ways to mitigate risk.

State Economy Stays on Track Fri, 16 Aug 2013 08:53:36 -0500 State of Minnesota

July’s employment numbers underscore just how much is going right for the Minnesota labor market and economy.

With 4,300 new jobs in July, the state has now gained 71,500 jobs in the past year, a growth rate of 2.6 percent that far exceeds the national job growth rate of 1.7 percent. In the past 20 years, Minnesota has managed to add jobs at that pace only a handful of times.

DEED Awards Funding to Assist Emerging Businesses Thu, 15 Aug 2013 08:55:21 -0500 State of Minnesota

DEED has awarded two-year grants totaling $2.8 million to 11 nonprofits that provide services and technical assistance to emerging businesses and entrepreneurs in Minnesota.

The funding goes to groups that provide business assistance to targeted groups, including women, minorities, rural residents, bioscience startups, entrepreneurs and inventors. Funding for the grants was approved during the 2013 legislative session.

A Climate for Growth Wed, 14 Aug 2013 08:57:11 -0500 State of Minnesota

While government doesn’t create jobs, it can create an environment that encourages job growth. That’s the case in Minnesota, where assistance from DEED programs is part of the formula that is leading the state out of the recession.

DEED’s Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) has attracted thousands of jobs to the state in recent years, awarding grants and loans to companies in exchange for new jobs that pay good salaries.

The Path to Recovery Mon, 12 Aug 2013 08:58:53 -0500 State of Minnesota

From jobs to exports, the numbers point to a recovering economy in Minnesota. Shutterfly Inc.’s announcement last week that it plans to open a manufacturing facility that will bring about 330 jobs to Shakopee adds to the evidence that the state is leaving the Great Recession behind.

Something for Everybody Fri, 09 Aug 2013 09:05:17 -0500 State of Minnesota

From tall buildings to tall trees, Minnesota has something for everybody. People never get bored here because there’s so much to do.

Tourism is big business in Minnesota, led by Bloomington’s Mall of America, the country’s largest shopping and entertainment mecca that attracts 42 million visitors a year. Officials recently unveiled plans to double the size of the mall, putting it in the running for the crown of largest shopping complex in the world.

Growing by Leaps and Bounds Thu, 08 Aug 2013 11:12:10 -0500 State of Minnesota

With their experience and passion for gymnastics, Katie Olson and Gabe Essay seemed like a natural fit for starting K&G Gymnastics in Mankato. What they lacked was the business know-how.

That’s where Mike Nolan came in. Nolan, regional director of DEED’s South Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Mankato, worked with the two budding entrepreneurs to develop a realistic budget plan that helped them obtain financing for the business. That spadework paid off.

A Healthy Way of Living Wed, 07 Aug 2013 11:13:52 -0500 State of Minnesota

Minnesota does a body good. The state consistently ranks among the healthiest in the country thanks to the availability of high-quality health care and the active, healthy lifestyles that are part of the Minnesota ethos.

A Great Place to Live Mon, 05 Aug 2013 11:15:27 -0500 State of Minnesota

By almost any measure, Minnesota is a great place to live. We have it all: a growing economy, affordable living, top-notch health care, pristine lakes and forests, educated workers and a low crime rate.

In study after study, Minnesota consistently lands at the top of the heap when it comes to quality of life measures. The granddaddy of those studies, the Camelot Index, recently ranked Minnesota second in the country based on six factors: economic vitality, health, education, crime, society and government. Another study, the Opportunity Index, rated Minnesota third this spring behind Vermont and North Dakota, based on social and economic factors that contribute to opportunities for career and life success.

Why Hire a Veteran Thu, 01 Aug 2013 12:41:27 -0500 State of Minnesota

Already there are reports of military veterans landing jobs as a result of the connections they have made during the Minnesota Veterans Career Fair held on July 16. Three veterans were hired by E.J. Ajax & Sons, a metal stamping company in north Minneapolis that had a booth at the event. One of the veterans, Curt Jasper, received the job offer just two days after the career fair.

Identifying a Niche Wed, 31 Jul 2013 12:43:11 -0500 State of Minnesota

The Chanthakhammy brothers followed an old but effective formula in launching their central Minnesota business: They identified a niche and tapped it.

West Central SBDC Secret Sauce: Swanson named 2012 Minnesota Small Business Person of the Year Wed, 24 Jul 2013 12:44:35 -0500 State of Minnesota

Darrin Swanson is the president and CEO of Kit Masters Inc. and Swan Machine LLC, two related companies in Perham he founded with his father Keith Swanson. The businesses specialize in manufacturing and servicing fan clutches and rebuild kits for heavy-duty vehicles.

Veteran Connects to New Career Through WFC Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:46:14 -0500 State of Minnesota

Jose Chavarria, formerly a master gunnery sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, retired in 2010 after serving the nation for 24 years. But five months later he decided to restart his career. That’s when he met Tim Labeau, a veterans employment rep at the Anoka County WorkForce Center, who connected him with the right resources and training that ultimately led to his new job as a sheet metal fabricator with E.J. Ajax. Labeau gave him job search assistance and referred him to training through the Dislocated Worker Program.

Minnesota Winning the Economic Border Battle Fri, 19 Jul 2013 12:47:39 -0500 State of Minnesota

Minnesota has had excellent news on the economy and on the economic and business development front. Minnesota’s unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent in June, reaching its lowest point since May 2008. Business expansion projects, a fast-growing economy, job growth and optimism among Minnesota firms are all part of the equation. But things appear to be different in our neighboring state, Wisconsin.

And the media is paying attention. In Our View: Minnesota is winning economic border battle the Post-Bulletin writes that Wisconsin’s economy appears to be stagnant, while Minnesota’s is growing.

Hire a Veteran – Three Easy Steps Tue, 16 Jul 2013 12:49:11 -0500 State of Minnesota

Earlier this month, Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed July to be “ Hire a Veteran Month.” He encourages all Minnesota employers to help connect military service members with employment opportunities this month, and to continue hiring veterans all year round.

Many Minnesota employers recognize that veterans have skills they’re looking for. Veterans know technology and have proven themselves under pressure in the most difficult of circumstances. That’s why approximately 100 businesses are actively recruiting former members of the military at the Veterans Career Fair today in Brooklyn Center.

Hiring veterans is good business and it’s as easy as 1-2-3.

Vets Reps Link Former Marine to Milltronics Mon, 15 Jul 2013 13:19:22 -0500 State of Minnesota

chantharang_final.jpgChantharang Phouapradit, formerly a corporal and diesel mechanic in the U.S. Marine Corps., began looking for work after earning a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering. With job search assistance from Tim Labeau, Mark Mann, Dave Wold, and Grant Heino, all veterans employment reps at Minnesota WorkForce Centers (WFCs), he landed a job at Milltronics –Liberty Diversified International as a manufacturing engineer.

“Tim, Mark, Dave and Grant were a great help to me in getting employed,” he said.

They kept his attitude positive and gave him advice on many types of issues, he noted. Veterans employment reps connect veterans with other non-job related services that are available for veterans.

A Partner for Small Businesses Mon, 15 Jul 2013 12:53:54 -0500 State of Minnesota

When small businesses need help, they can count on a reliable partner: DEED’s Small Business Development Centers.

The statewide network of nine regional centers and 23 satellite offices provides free confidential counseling on topics such as capital and loan packaging, accounting systems, marketing and research, startup assistance, business planning and much more.

Life After Ford Fri, 12 Jul 2013 13:29:09 -0500 State of Minnesota

The Twin Cities Ford Plant was an institution in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood for more than 80 years, providing solid middle-class salaries for thousands of workers. That came to an end in December 2011, when the plant closed permanently.

To find out what happened to the 2,000 workers who lost their jobs, starting with the first round of layoffs in December 2006 and lasting through the final closing five years later, DEED’s Oriane Casale and Amanda Rohrer examined a variety of data sources and wrote about what they found for the June issue of Trends magazine.

Veterans Best Candidates for Business Ownership Thu, 11 Jul 2013 13:51:41 -0500 State of Minnesota

Veterans tend to be the best candidates for starting new businesses.

“They‘re disciplined, they understand technology, and they know how to get the job done,” said Mike Ryan, director, Minnesota Small Business Development Center at University of St. Thomas.

Owning a business has been an attractive option for veterans because they can have more control over their lives, be able to reap more of the rewards from their work, and make independent decisions.

One important source of help for veterans interested in starting a small business is Minnesota’s network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs).

Vets Networking Group Provides Tremendous Boost Mon, 08 Jul 2013 14:46:56 -0500 State of Minnesota

Dennis ChristiansenDennis “Denny” Christiansen, a veteran of the U.S. army, needed help finding work, so he turned to the Minnesota WorkForce Center in Brooklyn Park to learn job search skills. And it paid off. In June, he began a new job as a mental health practitioner at Nystrom & Associates in New Brighton. Christiansen found out about the job opening through a connection with veterans employment services reps at the WorkForce Center.

Christiansen has extensive experience in the human services field, and had been an enlisted assistant to the drug abuse officer for the 1st Armored Division in Germany. But all that wasn’t enough to land him a good job. That’s why he began regularly attending a veterans networking group meeting held weekly.

“I can’t recommend it enough,” he says. “Being with other veterans gave me a tremendous boost.”

Staying on Course Tue, 02 Jul 2013 14:49:30 -0500 State of Minnesota

In the very near future – perhaps early this fall – employment in Minnesota is expected to return to its pre-recessionary peak. At that point, the state will have recovered all 160,000 jobs that were lost in the Great Recession.

Shifting Employment Thu, 27 Jun 2013 14:51:20 -0500 State of Minnesota

While all 11 of Minnesota’s industrial sectors posted year-over-year job gains in the May employment figures that were announced last week, some sectors have done better than others since the end of the recession.

Summer Jobs for Teens Tue, 25 Jun 2013 07:22:19 -0500 State of Minnesota

Summer is the time of year when teenagers gain valuable experience and pocket money by working at places like golf courses, amusement parks, and lawn and garden stores. But finding work has gotten a lot tougher for them in recent years because many of those jobs either disappeared or went to adults who lost their regular jobs during the recession.

Teenage unemployment in Minnesota and nationally is more than triple the rate for the overall population, although the outlook will be somewhat improved this summer, according to an article by DEED’s Nick Dobbins in a recent issue of Minnesota Employment Review.

Gov and Delegates Return after Successful Trade Mission Fri, 21 Jun 2013 07:26:13 -0500 State of Minnesota

Gov. Mark Dayton and a 35-member Minnesota delegation of business, education and government officials are returning to Minnesota after a highly successful trade mission to Norway, Sweden and Germany. The governor and delegation ended the trade mission yesterday, with Minnesota hosting a reception to encourage trade and investment in our state. Numerous German companies attended this event that was held at the U.S. Embassy.

Sister-City Relationships Build Strong Cultural Ties Wed, 19 Jun 2013 07:43:57 -0500 State of Minnesota

Minnesota cities have more than 35 sister-city relationships across the globe. These relationships create a formal long-term partnership between two cities in two countries fostering peace and prosperity.

One such relationship is between Saint Paul and Neuss, Germany, which is a city on the west bank of the Rhine opposite Düsseldorf. Gov. Mark Dayton and the Minnesota delegation on the Governor’s Trade Mission to Europe visited Neuss today where they toured the 3M Innovation Center.

A Tale of Two States Tue, 18 Jun 2013 08:25:16 -0500 State of Minnesota

Wisconsin may have better football teams than Minnesota, but the Badger State is eating our dust when it comes to the economy.

Minnesota Public Radio’s Paul Tosto posted a blog on Monday that looked at some key economic data from the two states and concluded Minnesota did a much better job than Wisconsin of keeping people employed during the recession and putting them back to work in the recovery.

Education Leaders Attend Roundtable in Dusseldorf Tue, 18 Jun 2013 07:45:33 -0500 State of Minnesota

Thirty-four leaders from higher education, business and government in Minnesota and Germany attended a university roundtable earlier today in Dusseldorf. Participants shared information about their university or college, and attended separate meetings where potential and current partners explored ways to further student exchange and recruitment.

Governor Tours Moods of Norway Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:26:54 -0500 State of Minnesota

Gov. Mark Dayton, a Minnesota delegation of businesses, colleges and universities, and DEED officials toured the Moods of Norway’s flagship store in Oslo today. Gov. Dayton also met with company officials and thanked them for investing and locating their third U.S. retail store in Minnesota. The other two stores are located in Los Angeles and New York.

The store sells trendy apparel with a Nordic flair, what the company’s website calls “happy clothes for happy people,” and sports a pink tractor for its logo.

Gov Visits World Renowned Research University in Stockholm Fri, 14 Jun 2013 09:20:08 -0500 State of Minnesota

Gov. Mark Dayton; Dr. Cliff Steer, University of Minnesota Medical School; DEED Commissioner Katie Sieben; and Minnesota Trade Office Director Kathleen Motzenbecker visited the Karolinska Institutet, a world renowned medical research university in Stockholm, where they discussed innovation exchange.

The institute’s commitment to innovation is reflected in services it provides to businesses through its Innovation Office that include:

Painting a Picture of Minnesota’s Economy Thu, 13 Jun 2013 09:22:04 -0500 State of Minnesota

When it comes to the Minnesota economy, DEED’s Labor Market Information Office (LMI) lets the numbers do the talking. LMI accumulates data on trends in employment, wages, job growth and more to give Minnesotans a picture of where the economy has been and where it’s headed.

If you want to know the average wages of construction workers in Big Stone County, LMI can provide that information. How many people work in manufacturing in Minnesota or what’s the unemployment rate in St. Cloud? LMI has that information, too.

After the Classroom Tue, 11 Jun 2013 09:25:17 -0500 State of Minnesota

In the fall of 2009, more than 134,000 students were enrolled at community and technical colleges in Minnesota. By the following fall, nearly 60 percent of them were no longer at those schools. DEED analyst Amy Gehring decided to find out what happened to them.

Gov to Lead Trade Mission to Germany, Sweden and Norway Wed, 05 Jun 2013 09:27:30 -0500 State of Minnesota

A delegation of 35 business executives, government officials and higher education leaders will accompany Gov. Mark Dayton on his trade mission to Germany, Sweden and Norway from June 12 to 21.

The goal is to build relationships on this mission that will attract new export opportunities for Minnesota businesses and encourage companies in those countries to expand their operations in the state.

SBIR Grant Helps Twin Cities Startup Win $1 Million Federal Grant Tue, 04 Jun 2013 09:29:19 -0500 State of Minnesota

A $10,000 Science & Technology Authority grant played a part in the early stages of helping a Twin Cities startup land a federal $1 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant.

RxFunction has developed a high-tech shoe insert – called the Walkasin — that can detect whether a person is about to lose his or her balance and fall. The Walkasin connects to a cuff that wraps around the patient’s leg and vibrates when the patient sways too much in one direction or shows another sign of losing balance.

Commissioners Discuss Housing and Job Growth in Roseau Wed, 29 May 2013 09:33:11 -0500 State of Minnesota

This morning, DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben and Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Commissioner Mary Tingerthal met with officials in Roseau to discuss critical housing shortages that are making it difficult to attract workers to the community.

A Commitment to Jobs Fri, 24 May 2013 09:48:53 -0500 State of Minnesota

Jobs were the big winner in the Minnesota legislative session that wrapped up this week.

Gov. Mark Dayton signed legislation that will invest $108 million in programs that will generate thousands of new jobs in Minnesota and attract millions in private investments. The package includes loans, grants, global trade support, infrastructure funding and more.

“We need to make key investments in our state to make sure we can compete,” DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said during a conference call this morning. “That is the nature of how economic development deals are done today.”

DEED Commissioner Talks Exports in Duluth Fri, 17 May 2013 09:53:10 -0500 State of Minnesota

Take a look at Duluth’s bustling Lake Superior port facilities and one thing quickly becomes clear: Exports are a big deal here, creating jobs and generating millions of dollars in economic activity in northeastern Minnesota.

That’s why DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben joined Mayor Don Ness and other officials in Duluth today to talk about Minnesota exports. Exports are vitally important for the Duluth economy, but they also matter for the whole state, the commissioner said.

Prepping the Green Workforce Wed, 15 May 2013 10:05:39 -0500 State of Minnesota

DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben will be among the state officials honoring the Minnesota State Energy Sector Partnership during a gathering at the state Capitol rotunda this afternoon.

The partnership was recently recognized as one of the most effective initiatives to emerge from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) – the giant $831 billion stimulus package that Congress approved in February 2009 to help lift the U.S. economy out of the recession.

Angel Tax Credits Going…Going…Gone for 2013 Wed, 15 May 2013 09:55:14 -0500 State of Minnesota

The $1.2 million in Angel Tax credits available for 2013 is now gone, according to Jeff Nelson, Minnesota Angel Tax Program administrator.

Manufacturing in Northeastern Minnesota Tue, 14 May 2013 10:47:14 -0500 State of Minnesota

Manufacturing is a vital industry in northeastern Minnesota, providing jobs that pay substantially higher salaries than other sectors and accounting for a disproportionately higher share of the region’s economy.

Manufacturing also has recovered faster from the recession than any of the other major industrial sectors in northeastern Minnesota, growing 11.7 percent with 927 new jobs since early 2010.

The overall sector, with nearly 9,000 jobs, accounts for about 6.5 percent of total employment in the region, according to a story by regional analyst Julie Collins in the March issue of Minnesota Employment Review.

Angel Tax Credits Going Fast Thu, 09 May 2013 10:54:48 -0500 State of Minnesota

Get them while they’re hot because angel tax credits are going fast.

The popular DEED program that gets funding into the hands of startup companies by offering tax credits to investors has just $1.2 million in credits available for the remainder of the year.

Another Annual Record for State Exports Wed, 08 May 2013 14:43:01 -0500 State of Minnesota

Minnesota exports have been on a record-setting pace for two years, and that means more jobs and investments in the state. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates manufacturing exports alone account for 115,000 jobs in Minnesota.

So it was good news this morning when DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben announced exports of state agricultural, mining and manufactured products reached $20.6 billion in 2012, breaking the record of $20.3 billion that was set a year earlier.

“We are well-positioned for continued growth,” Commissioner Sieben said. “We need companies to be thinking globally and to be comfortable doing business in the international market.”

Hard-to-Fill Nursing Jobs Thu, 02 May 2013 14:44:35 -0500 State of Minnesota

We’ve heard a lot in recent years about the skills gap and the difficulties employers face in finding qualified job candidates for certain occupations. But if DEED’s recent Hiring Difficulties Study is any indication, the challenge of filling skilled positions is more complex than that.

The study found that a lack of qualified job candidates is only part of the reason employers are struggling to fill some jobs. Uncompetitive wages and undesirable job locations or work shifts are among other factors.

A Strong Year for Angel Tax Credits Tue, 30 Apr 2013 14:46:27 -0500 State of Minnesota

Emerging companies in Minnesota, particularly software, medical device and biotechnology firms, attracted $46.1 million in private investments last year because of DEED’s Angel Tax Credit Program.

That was among the details in the 2012 Angel Tax Credit Program annual report that was submitted to the Legislature and posted on the DEED website recently.

The British Are Coming Thu, 25 Apr 2013 13:04:17 -0500 State of Minnesota

It’s hardly surprising that our next-door neighbor, Canada, is the biggest foreign employer in Minnesota. But what people might not know is the United Kingdom is No. 2 on the list of countries with the most companies employing workers in the state.

Minnesota Offers Superior Environment for Bioscience Tue, 23 Apr 2013 13:06:48 -0500 State of Minnesota

Minnesota is a national leader in biosciences, ranking consistently in the top in key life sciences industries. The state is home to the internationally renowned Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota, two world leaders in bioscience research. Minnesota offers the best mix of human resources, infrastructure and technology, ranking in the top five states in the U.S. for long-term competitiveness. The state ranks second in the size of its medical device industry.

This week, DEED, accompanied by more than 50 businesses, communities and other organizations, is participating in the BIO International Convention in Chicago, one of the largest trade shows in the world for biosciences. DEED is hosting matchmaking services and a Minnesota pavilion showcasing products, services, and companies.

March Employment Takes a U-Turn Thu, 18 Apr 2013 14:18:53 -0500 State of Minnesota

Seven straight months of job gains came to an end in March when Minnesota lost 5,200 jobs. While it’s hard to say why that shift occurred after the state gained 54,900 jobs in the previous seven months, DEED research director Steve Hine speculated during his monthly conference call this morning that the late spring, federal sequestration or volatility in the monthly employment figures could have been factors to varying degrees.

New Partnership Connects Students with High-Tech Skills and Jobs in Minnesota Retail Industry Wed, 17 Apr 2013 15:35:12 -0500 State of Minnesota

Minnesota is a national leader in the retail industry and is closing an IT skills gap, due to a new partnership with the retail IT sector, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) and DEED.

The partnership began last year when Amber Naqvi, Logic Information Systems president, participated in a Governor’s Job’s Initiative event focusing on the state’s economic competiveness. Logic Information Systems specializes in serving customers that use Oracle Retail, an integrated suite of software applications for retailers. Naqvi was having a problem finding workers with the right skills to grow his business in the retail IT sector.

The Economic DNA of Greater Mankato Tue, 16 Apr 2013 15:36:40 -0500 State of Minnesota

As DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben found during her visit to Mankato on Monday, the city has a lot going on, including plans for major upgrades at the Verizon Wireless Civic Center and a redevelopment project that will bring two new buildings downtown.

A diverse industrial base, a history of low unemployment and a strong local labor force are among the strengths of the Mankato regional economy, according to a story about the Mankato-North Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in a recent issue of DEED’s Minnesota Employment Review.

Commissioner Visits Mankato Project Sites Mon, 15 Apr 2013 15:41:41 -0500 State of Minnesota

DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben was in Mankato today to tout two projects that will generate jobs and economic activity in the region. During her visit, the commissioner toured the Verizon Wireless Civic Center and the site of the Tailwind redevelopment project, both in downtown Mankato.

Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing $14.5 million in bond funding for a $31 million project at the civic center that will improve the University of Minnesota-Mankato men’s and women’s hockey facilities and will expand the event center to attract more conventions, trade shows, concerts and other activities.

Protecting Minnesota Thu, 11 Apr 2013 07:13:13 -0500 State of Minnesota

People who work in law enforcement talk about the irregular hours, high stress and tragedies that they encounter on a regular basis in their jobs. Yet many say it’s the only work they’ve ever wanted to do.

“It’s a job with purpose and meaning,” says Sherburne County investigator and emergency responder Matthew Mork in the March issue of Trends, DEED’s quarterly magazine about the state economy and labor market.

Education and Jobs Tue, 09 Apr 2013 07:14:52 -0500 State of Minnesota

The utilities sector has one of the most educated workforces in Minnesota, with more than three-fourths of the jobs held by people who have at least some college experience.

The industry with the least-educated workforce? That would be mining and quarrying, where just 14.3 percent of the workers in Minnesota have a bachelor’s degrees or higher.

Those are among the findings in an article by DEED regional analyst Cameron Macht in a recent issue of Trends magazine. Macht’s analysis of Quarterly Workforce Indicators data found that people with more education tend to have lower unemployment rates and make more money than people with less education. Their turnover rates are lower, too.

Iron Range Businesses Thrive Tue, 02 Apr 2013 07:19:44 -0500 State of Minnesota

DEED Commissioner Katie Clark traveled to the Iron Range yesterday, where she toured companies, participated in an economic development roundtable discussion, and visited the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB). Businesses on the Iron Range are growing, and the region is experiencing job recovery.

A highlight of her trip was the visit to the IRRRB. There, she participated in an Economic Development Roundtable Discussion with more than 50 business leaders in attendance. Commissioner Sieben also spoke with reporters about DEED’s ongoing collaboration with Iron Range Industries and the importance of Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget initiatives for the region.

Supply Chain Strength in Mankato Fri, 29 Mar 2013 07:24:51 -0500 State of Minnesota

A full agenda that included six Mankato company tours made its mark with DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben: The network of interconnected businesses allow companies in Greater Mankato to better serve their customers in Minnesota and around the world.

Minnesota Cup Thu, 28 Mar 2013 07:36:53 -0500 State of Minnesota

Minnesotans have a knack for turning innovation and creative genius into business success stories. The cardiac pacemaker, mechanical heart valve, snowmobile and aviation’s black box were all developed here. From 2007 to 2011, more than 15,000 patents were registered in the state, ranking ninth nationally.

The Minnesota Cup, sponsored by DEED and other supporters, builds on that record of success by awarding cash prizes for creative business ideas. More than 7,000 breakthrough concepts have been submitted to the contest since it was launched in 2005.

State Labor Market Gaining Momentum Thu, 21 Mar 2013 07:38:24 -0500 State of Minnesota

DEED’s February employment report this morning adds to the growing evidence that the state labor market is gaining strength.

Minnesota added 14,500 jobs in February. That figure combined with the 13,500 jobs that were gained in January was the best two-month showing on record for the state. Over the past six months, Minnesota has added 50,800 jobs, also a record for the time period.

Another Record for State Exports Tue, 19 Mar 2013 07:39:56 -0500 State of Minnesota

Minnesota exports are on a roll, setting their ninth consecutive quarterly record in the fourth quarter last year. DEED released figures today that show exports of agricultural, mining and manufactured products reached $5.13 billion during the quarter, edging out the previous fourth-quarter record of $5.09 billion in 2011.

Those figures combined with records in each of the three other quarters in 2012 means the state set an annual record for exports for the second straight year. An annual report and breakdown of the 2012 figures should be out in a few weeks.

Back to the Classroom Thu, 14 Mar 2013 07:41:31 -0500 State of Minnesota

The connection between school and work is getting increased scrutiny in this era of rising educational costs. Students want assurances their schooling will pay off, while state policymakers want to know if more education will help people find jobs and make Minnesota businesses more competitive.

DEED’s Amy Gehring examined new state data to determine whether workers who go back to school for one- or two-year programs in their fields were rewarded with fatter paychecks after graduation. Her findings appear in a recent issue of Trends magazine, published quarterly by DEED.

Motzenbecker Tapped to Head Minnesota Trade Office Wed, 13 Mar 2013 07:43:06 -0500 State of Minnesota

Kathleen Motzenbecker is the new executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office, replacing Katie Clark Sieben, who left that position in October to become commissioner of DEED.

Motzenbecker brings a wealth of international trade and foreign direct investment experience to the post, serving as deputy director for Asia Pacific at the Illinois Department of Commerce and working for the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C.

The Education Advantage Tue, 12 Mar 2013 07:44:51 -0500 State of Minnesota

The cover headline in a recent issue of Newsweek magazine posed a question that people are increasingly asking these days: “Is College a Lousy Investment?” As with most things in life, the answer depends. Unemployed college graduates, saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student debt and living in their parents’ basements, might not think college is worth the cost. But experts generally agree that education pays off in the long run.

A recent issue of Trends – DEED’s quarterly magazine that tracks workforce and economic trends in the state – includes three stories that look at the relationship between education and employment, using different approaches and sources of data.

One of them by Ellie Schriner, an Eagan High School senior who was an intern in DEED’s Labor Market Information Office last fall, analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics data to compare unemployment rates based on education levels.

Hiring Difficulties Study Fri, 08 Mar 2013 07:46:14 -0600 State of Minnesota

Responding to concerns about the skills gap and its magnitude in Minnesota, DEED launched its first Hiring Difficulties Study last fall. The study, which examined nine occupations identified as potentially experiencing a skills gap, looked at whether job vacancies are hard to fill in those fields and, if so, why.

Researchers talked with more than 200 employers who had job vacancies in one of the following occupations: registered nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse anesthesiologists, industrial engineers, industrial engineering technicians, materials engineers, CNC (computer numerical control) machine operators, numerical tool and process control programmers, and machinists.

Application Deadline Extended to March 11 for Governor’s Trade Mission Thu, 07 Mar 2013 09:30:39 -0600 State of Minnesota

The Minnesota Trade Office reports strong response to Governor Dayton’s mission to Europe, but if you’re considering this as a new-business opportunity or need a few extra days to complete applications, take note.

The deadline for applications has been extended to Monday, March 11.

Jobs Making Steady Comeback Tue, 05 Mar 2013 09:34:49 -0600 State of Minnesota

The labor market picture keeps getting brighter in Minnesota.

The January employment numbers that were announced today combined with revised figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics helped put the state within striking distance of employment levels that existed before the Great Recession started five years ago.

Help Wanted Fri, 01 Mar 2013 09:36:37 -0600 State of Minnesota

Yesterday’s fourth quarter 2012 Job Vacancy Survey offers yet another sign of a recovering labor market in Minnesota.

DEED’s twice-annual survey of 10,300 Minnesota employers found that the state had 58,860 job vacancies in the fourth quarter last year, an increase of 18 percent from the same quarter a year earlier. The last time Minnesota had that many job openings in the fourth quarter was in 2005 – two years before the Great Recession even started.

Made in Minnesota Tue, 26 Feb 2013 09:41:22 -0600 State of Minnesota

The “buy local” movement has been gaining popularity, especially when it comes to garden produce and other foods. But that same idea can be applied to manufactured products. It makes sense for Minnesota companies to buy goods and supplies that were made in the state because it helps the economy and keeps Minnesota dollars at home.

That’s why DEED is creating the Made in Minnesota directory of products manufactured in the state. The goal is to encourage Minnesota manufacturers to buy products and supplies from each other, rather than from out-of-state firms or foreign companies.

An Investment in the Minnesota Workforce Thu, 21 Feb 2013 09:43:03 -0600 State of Minnesota

The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership is a key piece of DEED’s economic development strategy, providing funding that enables businesses and educational institutions to work together to develop customized training for workers. Employees benefit because they can learn new skills, and the program is often used as an incentive to keep companies in the state or to attract new businesses and jobs.

Recently, Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids was awarded a $260,000 grant under the program to train 416 employees of Minnesota Diversified Industries, a nonprofit that employs people with disabilities. The grant will provide entry-level and advanced training and retraining for production and assembly, manufacturing and managerial employees.

An Investment in Minnesota Tue, 19 Feb 2013 09:44:45 -0600 State of Minnesota

Minnesota is at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to tax benefits, loans and grants to encourage companies to expand or relocate in the state. A recent New York Times study ranked Minnesota 39th in spending on economic development programs and 46th in spending on those programs per capita. Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and even Nebraska spend significantly more on their programs.

A Look at Small-Business Programs Thu, 14 Feb 2013 09:45:45 -0600 State of Minnesota

When people think of companies in Minnesota, nationally known names like 3M, Pillsbury, General Mills and Target often come to mind. But the state actually has nearly 500,000 firms, most of them employing only a handful of people.

To keep those small businesses healthy and thriving, DEED and other public and private entities around the state offer a variety of programs, assistance and strategies. Some programs are better known than others. DEED’s lineup includes Small Business Development Centers and the Urban Initiative Loan Program. Other organizations that offer help include the U.S. Small Business Administration, WomenVenture, the Latino Economic Development Corp. and the African Development Center.

Housing and Jobs in Rural Minnesota Wed, 13 Feb 2013 10:54:47 -0600 State of Minnesota

Thief River Falls, a city of 8,600 people in northwestern Minnesota, has a challenge that many communities can only dream about. The home of Digi-Key, Arctic Cat and small firms that supply the two companies has plenty of jobs. What it lacks, though, is affordable housing, which makes it difficult to recruit workers, according to company officials.

Roseau, Worthington and Jackson are among other Minnesota cities where major employers are struggling to expand because of housing shortages. Recognizing the problem, Gov. Mark Dayton is scheduled to participate in a roundtable in Roseau this afternoon about the housing shortage in that community, where Polaris Industries recently expanded.

Help for Small Businesses Wed, 13 Feb 2013 10:52:59 -0600 State of Minnesota

Inexperienced business owners often lack basic knowledge in such areas as accounting systems, developing marketing plans or tapping sources of capital. They need help, but they don’t know where to turn or can’t afford to hire a professional consultant.

One solution is DEED’s Small Business Development Centers, which offer free confidential consulting to help clients overcome the challenges of running a business.

Minnesota’s Inventive History Mon, 11 Feb 2013 10:57:16 -0600 State of Minnesota

In honor of Thomas Edison’s birthday, today is National Inventor’s Day. Minnesota has had its share of innovative products created here. For instance, did you know the Milky Way candy bar was created and initially manufactured here in Minneapolis back in the 1920s? Or that ALVIN, the world’s first deep-sea submarine, was developed by General Mills’ Mechanical Division and went on to explore the wreck of the Titanic?

It should be no surprise considering Minnesota ranks fourth nationwide in patents per capita and ninth in overall number of patents (15,171 between 2007 and 2011). On a global scale, Minnesota ranks eighth in the world in total patents behind only Japan, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan, Canada, France and the United Kingdom.

You can thank Fortune 500 companies headquartered or operating in Minnesota like IBM (1,717 patents), 3M (1,380 patents) and Medtronic (994 patents) for registering a lot of the patents in the state.

Returning to Work Fri, 08 Feb 2013 11:01:17 -0600 State of Minnesota

In a weak job market, employers have their pick of candidates and often favor those with the most recent experience. That tendency has contributed to the growth of long-term unemployment nationally, even with the economy in recovery. The longer people are out of work, the harder it becomes for them to find jobs.

Minnesota hasn’t been immune to that trend, with an average of 42,500 people out of work for more than a year as of June, according to a story by DEED’s Amanda Rohrer in the latest issue of Trends magazine.

Giving Back to Veterans Fri, 08 Feb 2013 10:59:20 -0600 State of Minnesota

Geoff Chalupsky knows all about the difficulties of finding work after returning from military duty. He faced the same situation after completing his deployment in Iraq.

Now the employment specialist at DEED’s Bloomington WorkForce Center is giving back by helping other veterans get hired. Chalupsky is one of many employment specialists at DEED’s 48 WorkForce Centers around the state who help veterans find jobs. Chalupsky says he works with at least a dozen veterans a week.

DEED Skills Gap Study Wed, 06 Feb 2013 11:03:11 -0600 State of Minnesota

Workforce development is getting a lot of attention, both nationally and in Minnesota, because of growing concerns about the skills gap. Employers in some industries, especially manufacturing and health care, say they can’t find enough workers with the specialized skills they need to compete. Employers are reporting shortages of workers in such occupations as welding, engineering, registered nursing and machining.

The skills gap is an important economic issue because if employers can’t find qualified workers it will impede economic expansion, contribute to unemployment and limit the ability of businesses to grow.

10 Things You Need to Know About Jobs in the Governor’s Budget Proposal Tue, 05 Feb 2013 11:06:01 -0600 State of Minnesota 10 Things You Need to Know About Jobs in the Governor’s Budget Proposal
Germany, Sweden and Norway on Trade Mission Itinerary Fri, 01 Feb 2013 11:10:56 -0600 State of Minnesota

Gov. Mark Dayton unveiled plans on Thursday for his third trade mission since becoming governor, announcing in a press release that he will lead delegates on a mission to Germany, Sweden and Norway on June 12-21. Besides the obvious cultural links – nearly two-thirds of Minnesotans can trace their heritage to one of those three countries – the region is a major export market for the state. Minnesota companies send nearly $1 billion in products to those countries annually.

The trade mission follows the governor’s two previous trips to Asia. He led a delegation to Seoul, South Korea, in September 2011 and took another delegation to China last June, stopping in Beijing, Shanghai and Xian.

Starting a Business: An A to Z Guide Wed, 30 Jan 2013 07:41:34 -0600 State of Minnesota

Judging by the interest in DEED’s “A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota,” there is no shortage of budding entrepreneurs in the state. In the past year, the agency received 20,000 requests for the guide, which is available in hard copy and CD or can be downloaded from the agency’s website . The publication will be available for the first time in 2013 on mobile devices like iPhones, iPads and Androids.

Roads and Jobs Tue, 29 Jan 2013 07:43:22 -0600 State of Minnesota

The Transportation Economic Development Program, better known as TED, is a good example of the positive results that can occur when government agencies work together.

TED, a collaborative effort between DEED and the Minnesota Department of Transportation, was created as a pilot program in late 2010 with the idea that highway infrastructure improvements and economic development go hand in hand. The program recognized that better roads and bridges often generate private business investments and job growth.

Reduced Taxes for Businesses Mon, 28 Jan 2013 07:47:55 -0600 State of Minnesota

Minnesota’s unemployment insurance trust fund – the massive state fund that pays temporary jobless benefits to workers who have been laid off – is building reserves again, thanks to the improving economy. New claims for unemployment benefits late last year dropped to levels that haven’t been seen since before the Great Recession.

That’s good news for Minnesota businesses, which pay an unemployment insurance tax that funds the DEED-managed trust fund. With the economic crisis easing and less money being drained from the fund, Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing in his budget plan to reduce the unemployment insurance tax on businesses.

Minnesota Job Creation Fund Fri, 25 Jan 2013 07:51:16 -0600 State of Minnesota

Creating jobs and making the state more attractive for businesses is high on Gov. Mark Dayton’s goals in the two-year budget plan that he submitted this week. To help achieve those objectives, the governor proposed a new tool called the Minnesota Job Creation Fund.

The $25 million ongoing fund, managed by DEED, would be an alternative to the JOBZ program, which is set to expire in 2015.

The Minnesota Job Creation Fund will provide up to $1 million to businesses that meet certain performance measures, including minimum requirements for job creation and private investments. Under the program, businesses must create at least 10 full-time jobs and invest at least $500,000 to be eligible for financial assistance.

Competing Globally Thu, 24 Jan 2013 09:23:08 -0600 State of Minnesota

Exports and foreign direct investment are a growing part of the state’s economic development strategy.

Minnesota exports reached a record $20.3 billion in 2011, and state exports have set quarterly records for eight straight quarters. Meanwhile, foreign companies such as Esser Steel, Tata Consultancy Services and Gerdau are investing millions to expand operations that will create hundreds of new jobs in Minnesota.

Gov. Mark Dayton’s recent budget package reflects a commitment to build on that momentum with a $1.5 million Global Competitiveness Initiative to expand exports and foreign direct investment in the state.

MIF Delivers Wed, 23 Jan 2013 09:27:36 -0600 State of Minnesota

DEED’s Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) is a proven winner when it comes to attracting businesses and jobs to the state.

Companies that committed to expanding in Minnesota in 2012, thanks in part to MIF, include Geringhoff, a German agricultural company that is building a manufacturing facility in St. Cloud, and Polaris Industries, a Medina-based company that broke ground on an expanded research and development facility in Wyoming, Minn.

Geringhoff expects to create at least 100 jobs in the first phase of its project and potentially more jobs later, while Polaris will create capacity for an additional 350 jobs at its expanded facility. Both companies received loans from the program that will be forgiven if they meet hiring goals.

More Minnesotans with Disabilities Finding Jobs Tue, 22 Jan 2013 09:31:35 -0600 State of Minnesota

The job placement rate for Minnesotans with disabilities continues to improve. Nearly 2,500 people who received services from the agency’s Vocational Rehabilitation Services division found work in 2012. That represents a five-year climb back to pre-recession job placement rates for the program. The jobs paid an average hourly wage of $11.34, which also continues a steady improvement in wages since the recessionary depths.

Another Strong Month for Minnesota Jobs Thu, 17 Jan 2013 09:33:03 -0600 State of Minnesota

The Minnesota labor market surged late in 2012, adding 21,400 jobs in November and December, according to the latest employment figures announced by DEED this morning. The state continues to make up ground that it lost during the Great Recession, gaining nearly 51,000 jobs in the past year.

Steve Hine, who heads DEED’s Labor Market Information Office, says the state has recovered 71 percent of the jobs that vanished in the recession, compared with a national job recovery pace of 54 percent.

Meanwhile, the state unemployment rate continues to drop. The Minnesota jobless rate topped out at a seasonally adjusted 8.5 percent in May and June of 2009. The latest rate for December was 5.5 percent, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis recently projected state unemployment will drop to 4.7 percent by the fourth quarter this year.

Mining for Jobs Wed, 16 Jan 2013 09:34:30 -0600 State of Minnesota

The Minnesota mining industry has made a strong comeback in recent years, particularly on the Iron Range.

DEED’s latest data show mining employment in northeastern Minnesota has climbed about 25 percent in the last two years, reaching more than 4,500 jobs. A recent analysis by DEED ranked mining among the highest-paying jobs in Minnesota.

Let’s Get Social Mon, 14 Jan 2013 09:40:11 -0600 State of Minnesota

While employment in the communications industry is shrinking in some sectors – think newspaper reporters and copyeditors – one part of the field is gaining jobs at a steady pace. Online job site CareerBuilder reported that 2012 listings for social media managers grew 48 percent in year-over-year job listings. Its 2012 midyear jobs survey found 16 percent of companies have created social media positions that didn’t exist five years ago.

The December issue of Trends – DEED’s quarterly magazine that covers the state’s labor market and economy – includes a feature story about people who work in social media. One of them is Josh Le, a 2011 University of Minnesota business management and marketing graduate who manages the Minnesota Zoo’s Facebook page, Twitter account and photo-sharing social network Instagram.

Toxic Turnaround Thu, 10 Jan 2013 09:46:12 -0600 State of Minnesota

DEED’s Contamination Cleanup Grant Program doesn’t always get a lot of attention, but it has a significant impact on the state economy.

Since it was launched 18 years ago, the program has been credited with creating 19,000 jobs in Minnesota and retaining another 15,000 positions. More than 3,000 acres – including sites of former gas stations, abandoned factories and closed refineries – have been cleaned up for residential, commercial and industrial projects.

When Jobs Go Overseas Tue, 08 Jan 2013 11:56:41 -0600 State of Minnesota

Free trade has affected the U.S. economy in both positive and negative ways. It has meant cheaper goods for consumers, as well as new markets and customers for American companies. But it has also taken a toll on some U.S. businesses, particularly manufacturers that have been forced to move jobs overseas because they needed cheaper labor to compete.

Fortunately, DEED can offer help for Minnesotans who lose their jobs due to foreign competition or because their work was outsourced to other countries. The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program – funded by the federal government and managed by state agencies – provides services and financial benefits for people who are unemployed or had their hours or income reduced by foreign trade activity.

Manufacturers Upbeat about 2013 Fri, 04 Jan 2013 11:58:39 -0600 State of Minnesota

Manufacturing can be a good indicator of how the economy is doing, especially in Minnesota, where the sector accounts for about one in nine jobs. If manufacturing is doing well, then the economy is likely doing well, too.

DEED’s annual Manufacturing and Business Conditions Survey that was announced today indicates manufacturers anticipate a good year in 2013. The agency’s random survey of Minnesota manufacturers in November found that 85 percent expect production and employment levels to increase or stay the same in the coming year.

Meet Patricia: a FastTRAC Success Story Thu, 27 Dec 2012 12:18:50 -0600 State of Minnesota Editor’s note: The Minnesota FastTRAC program, jointly managed by DEED and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, helps low-skilled adults who are unemployed or looking for better career opportunities. Under the program, participants are taught the basics that will help them succeed in the workplace, including computer skills, English and math. They also can receive career-specific training in such growing fields as health care, manufacturing, education, business, energy and food preparation. Today’s blog post features a young woman who is finding success after participating in the program . Meet Martha: a FastTRAC Success Story Wed, 26 Dec 2012 12:21:08 -0600 State of Minnesota

Editor’s note : The Minnesota FastTRAC program, jointly managed by DEED and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, helps low-skilled adults who are unemployed or looking for better career opportunities. Under the program, participants are taught the basics that will help them succeed in the workplace, including computer skills, English and math. They also can receive career-specific training in such growing fields as health care, manufacturing, education, business, energy and food preparation. Today’s blog post features a young woman who is finding success after participating in the program .

Minnesota Income Growth Outpaces Nation Fri, 21 Dec 2012 12:23:13 -0600 State of Minnesota

A study of personal income by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) contains some positive news for Minnesota.

Dissecting the November Numbers Thu, 20 Dec 2012 12:24:43 -0600 State of Minnesota

November was a relatively strong month for the state labor market, with employers adding 10,800 jobs and the unemployment rate dropping another couple notches to 5.7 percent.

Beyond those highlights, here’s another takeaway from today’s employment announcement: 55,244. That’s how many jobs Minnesota employers have added in the past year, the state’s best year-over-year showing since the recovery began more than three years ago.

Small Businesses Find an Angel Wed, 19 Dec 2012 12:27:39 -0600 State of Minnesota

Finding investors and businesses that want to participate in DEED’s Angel Tax Credit Program has never been a problem.

Since it was launched in July 2010, the popular initiative has attracted $140 million in private investments – the maximum allowed under state statutes – for nearly 300 small and emerging companies in the state, particularly software, medical device and biotechnology firms.

Investments in this year’s program were fully committed by July, but the agency has begun accepting certification applications for 2013, when Minnesota businesses will be eligible for up to $50 million in new investments.

Help on the Way for Small Businesses Tue, 18 Dec 2012 12:29:22 -0600 State of Minnesota

Yesterday’s blog post reviewed the various tools DEED uses to get funding into the hands of cash-starved small businesses, including a program called the State Small Business Credit Initiative that was launched this year.

Funding for Small Businesses Mon, 17 Dec 2012 12:30:42 -0600 State of Minnesota

One of the biggest challenges faced by up-and-coming businesses is gaining access to capital. In many cases, banks won’t help startups with funding needs, fearful of giving out risky loans to businesses that don’t have an established track record.

That’s where DEED steps in. The agency has a variety of programs aimed at getting funding to promising small businesses that might not otherwise survive. They include the Urban Initiative Loan Program, Angel Tax Credit Program and Small Business Development Loan Program.

Mining and the Minnesota Economy Fri, 14 Dec 2012 12:32:05 -0600 State of Minnesota

Mining is a crucial part of the economy in northeastern Minnesota, accounting for more than one-third of the area’s gross regional product and employing thousands of workers at mining companies, trucking firms, and suppliers and vendors. The region has one of the richest iron ore deposits in the country, with the total annual economic impact from taconite estimated at $3.1 billion.

To make sure the industry remains vital and has access to a quality workforce, DEED worked with partners on the Iron Range last year to secure $1.9 million in federal grants for training workers, advancing mineral research, and providing technical assistance for businesses and entrepreneurs.

Helping Businesses to Expand Thu, 13 Dec 2012 12:33:27 -0600 State of Minnesota

When a company expands in Minnesota, there’s a good chance that DEED had a hand in making it happen. In fact, about one-half of the 97 business expansion plans announced in the state during the first three quarters of the year involved the agency in some way.

DEED officials assist companies in finding the right sites for their projects, provide grants and loans, and offer training programs to help workers upgrade their skills. Altogether, more than 3,000 jobs will be created and $650 million invested in business expansion projects announced so far this year, with DEED playing a major role.

Export Funding Available for Small Business Wed, 12 Dec 2012 12:34:51 -0600 State of Minnesota

Small businesses that want to begin exporting or expand their exports into new markets may be eligible for funding assistance from the Minnesota Trade Office (MTO).

The program was created to help small businesses export and is funded in part through a State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“The goal of STEP is to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting and to raise the value of exports among those already selling internationally,” said Ed Dieter, acting executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office. “This program will create opportunities for businesses that want to build revenue by entering foreign markets.”

Minnesotans Have the Education and Skills Needed to Achieve Their Goals Tue, 11 Dec 2012 12:38:16 -0600 State of Minnesota

Building a better Minnesota starts with giving our children and workforce a world-class education, and the skills they need to succeed in a global economy. That is why Governor Dayton is strongly committed to providing more funding for K-12 classrooms and early childhood education, increasing per pupil spending, and making college more affordable for Minnesotans. Governor Dayton is also focused on helping working Minnesotans access the education and workforce training they need to compete in today’s economy.

Thriving Economy Encourages Business Growth & Employment Opportunities Mon, 10 Dec 2012 12:43:48 -0600 State of Minnesota

Governor Dayton is focused on getting Minnesotans back to work, and keeping our state on course for a strong economic recovery. A successful economy requires strong business growth, a skilled workforce, and employment opportunity for all Minnesotans. To build a better economy, Governor Dayton is working to support small business growth, strengthen economic infrastructure statewide, streamline state government regulations, and do everything possible to get unemployed Minnesotans back on the job.

Minnesota Exports Climb to Record $5.1 billion Thu, 06 Dec 2012 12:45:21 -0600 State of Minnesota

Minnesota exports of agricultural, mining and manufactured products reached a record $5.1 billion in the third quarter of 2012, according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

State exports for the third quarter increased by 1 percent compared with the same period from 2011.

DEED Awards Lean Training Grant for Growing Minnesota Diversified Industries Workforce Thu, 29 Nov 2012 12:48:05 -0600 State of Minnesota

DEED has awarded Itasca Community College a $260,000 grant under its Minnesota Job Skills Partnership program to train 416 employees of Minnesota Diversified Industries (MDI).

One important goal of MJSP is to keep or expand high-quality jobs in the state. Since December 2011 MDI has added more than 250 new jobs to their current workforce of 416. Thirty-three percent of the new hires have disabilities. Career Fair Set for Thursday, Nov. 29 Tue, 27 Nov 2012 12:49:32 -0600 State of Minnesota

Are you, a family member, friend or neighbor looking for a job? The Career Fair set for Thursday, Nov. 29 gives job seekers the opportunity to connect with employers who have job openings and college reps that can help them get the training and education they need for a rewarding career. Eighty-eight exhibitors will be on hand, giving job seekers plenty of opportunities to learn about job openings and career options. It’s free and open to everyone. The career fair will also feature two workshops to help job seekers and career explorers jump-start their career. They are:

Support Small Business Saturday – Nov. 24 Tue, 20 Nov 2012 12:50:58 -0600 State of Minnesota

We encourage all Minnesotans to support small businesses and merchants on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year. The day celebrates small businesses and the contribution they make to our economy. They are crucial to boosting local communities and preserving neighborhoods throughout the state.

The event is a special day for everyone – from business owners who create jobs to the customers who buy locally. That’s why public and private organizations across the country — including in Minnesota — have endorsed the Nov. 24 event. In 2011, over 100 million people came out to shop at independently-owned small businesses on Small Business Saturday.

Three Mining Companies Plan for 183 New Hires with Help From MJSP Training Grant Thu, 15 Nov 2012 12:52:16 -0600 State of Minnesota

DEED has awarded Hibbing Community College a grant of nearly $399,000 under its Minnesota Job Skills Partnership to train 227 heavy equipment operators. Northeastern Minnesota mining employers are anticipated to hire 183 new workers as a result.

The grant will support a partnership between the college and three mining industry employers: Cliffs Mining-Hibbing Taconite and Essar Steel Minnesota, both producers of iron ore pellets, and JoyGlobal, which manufactures and markets original equipment and aftermarket parts and services for the mining industry.

Minnesota’s STEP Program Helps Small Businesses Build Revenue, Expand Foreign Markets, Support Jobs Tue, 13 Nov 2012 12:53:33 -0600 State of Minnesota

~Trade Office Now Accepting Applications~

Eligible small businesses may apply for reimbursement of up to $500 for export-training or up to $7,500 for approved export-development activities through the STEP Export Assistance for Small Business program. Participants may be first-time exporters or current exporters interested in expanding into new international markets.

City of Dawson Receives Grants for Job Creation Project Thu, 08 Nov 2012 12:55:11 -0600 State of Minnesota

The city of Dawson has received a $1.2 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant that will allow the city to complete a $2.4 million industrial park expansion project and accommodate the growth of the Noah’s Ark meat processing facility. The company will retain at least 35 to 40 jobs at the plant, and create at least 15 to 20 jobs. The city of Dawson will be contributing $700,000 to the project.

Bringing Broadband to Rural Minnesota Tue, 06 Nov 2012 12:57:05 -0600 State of Minnesota

Better broadband means more business activity and jobs in Minnesota.

In fact, broadband is so important to the state’s economic development goals that Gov. Mark Dayton included it in his seven priorities for job creation last year, and he created a 15-member task force charged with developing a plan to make high-speed Internet available throughout the state.

The Minnesota High Tech Association also recognized broadband as a key piece of the state’s growth strategy when it presented one of its 2012 Tekne Awards to the Grand Rapids-based Blandin Foundation last week. The association honored Blandin for its Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities coalition, an effort designed to increase broadband access and adoption in rural Minnesota.

A Veteran Success Story Fri, 02 Nov 2012 13:01:04 -0500 State of Minnesota

Jason J. Anderson, a captain in the Minnesota National Guard, is a Veteran Employment Success Story and showcases the Dayton Administration’s commitment to unify state government in hiring Minnesota’s veterans. Capt. Anderson does more than just preach his best practices for finding employment – he lives them every day, even while running the most mundane of errands.

Manufacturing Week – Twin Cities Fri, 26 Oct 2012 13:25:41 -0500 State of Minnesota

6 regions of Minnesota outlinedThe Twin Cities is home to an impressive list of Fortune 500 companies, including such household names as 3M, General Mills, Medtronic and Land O’Lakes. What do those four companies have in common outside of ZIP codes in the same neighborhood? All of them are manufacturers.

Manufacturing is a major driver of the Twin Cities economy, with the metro area accounting for nearly 60 percent of the state’s 313,000 manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing is the second-largest employment sector in the region – behind only health care and social assistance – and Twin Cities manufacturers have added nearly 6,000 jobs since the recovery began three years ago.

Manufacturing Week – Southwestern and South-Central Minnesota Thu, 25 Oct 2012 13:32:15 -0500 State of Minnesota

One thing distinguishes southwestern and south-central Minnesota from other regions of the state: Manufacturing is the No. 1 employer, particularly in the food sector.

Manufacturing Week – Southeastern Minnesota Thu, 25 Oct 2012 13:28:42 -0500 State of Minnesota

6 regions of Minnesota with SE corner highlightedWhen it comes to exports, manufacturing matters.

Minnesota manufacturers accounted for 90 percent of the state’s record $20.3 billion in exports last year, and exports are responsible for nearly 115,000 manufacturing jobs in the state, says DEED Commissioner Katie Clark.

State manufacturers build everything from machinery to optics and medical instruments, electrical machinery, vehicles and plastics for consumption in foreign markets.

Manufacturing Week – Northeastern Minnesota Tue, 23 Oct 2012 13:46:17 -0500 State of Minnesota

6 regions of Minnesota with NE corner highlightedThe history of northeastern Minnesota wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the timber industry, which employed thousands of lumberjacks, sawmill employees and wood production workers during the logging boom of the early 1900s.

Today, the roots of that industry can be found in the region’s manufacturing sector, which employs nearly 3,300 people in the paper or wood products industries, led by such companies as Boise Cascade in International Falls. Paper and wood products account for more than one-third of all manufacturing jobs in the region.

Manufacturing Week – Northwestern Minnesota Tue, 23 Oct 2012 13:43:47 -0500 State of Minnesota

6 regions of Minnesota with the NW corner highlightedContrary to what people might think, “Made in Minnesota” is not an outdated phrase. Manufacturing remains a major employer in the state, providing work for nearly 313,000 people – roughly one in nine jobs in Minnesota. Statewide, manufacturers have added nearly 14,000 jobs since the recovery began three years ago.

In sparsely populated northwestern Minnesota, manufacturing is an even more important part of the economy, providing employment for more than 26,000 people, roughly one in six jobs in the region.

Manufacturing Week – Central Minnesota Mon, 22 Oct 2012 13:50:24 -0500 State of Minnesota

There are many reasons to consider a career in manufacturing. The industry is growing in Minnesota, pay is substantially higher than average, and many workers have opportunities to work with advanced technology.

Among the best places to find that combination is central Minnesota, which has more jobs in manufacturing than any region in the state outside of the Twin Cities.

Minnesota FastTRAC Key to Matching Worker Skills with Jobs Fri, 19 Oct 2012 13:51:48 -0500 State of Minnesota

Minnesota FastTRAC brings together the state, local businesses, educational institutions, workforce development professionals and many others in an innovative partnership with one goal: To ensure adult learners gain the skills to fill the jobs business need.

Chart Industries Breaks Ground on New Prague Facility Mon, 15 Oct 2012 13:53:12 -0500 State of Minnesota

Chart Industries broke ground on a new 111,525-square-foot manufacturing facility, investing $23 million in the project and bringing 80 new jobs to New Prague. The company, which is the city’s largest employer, plans to expand production of cryogenic equipment used for transporting and storing natural gas as a refrigerated liquid.

Sixty of the new jobs are expected to be welding positions, with attractive wages and benefits starting at about $18 an hour and climbing to about $28 an hour as workers gain more skills and higher classifications. The other 20 jobs will be supervisory, engineering and management positions.

Minnesota attracts business expansions, new jobs Tue, 09 Oct 2012 13:56:08 -0500 State of Minnesota

Have you heard: Minnesota is hot for business development adding up to millions of dollars in new investments and hundreds of jobs in the state.

Unlocking the potential of people with autism Tue, 09 Oct 2012 13:54:46 -0500 State of Minnesota

Landing a job can be difficult under any circumstances. Finding work when you have a disability such as autism can be doubly challenging. Building awareness about autism and helping people with the disorder find meaningful work was among the goals of today’s Autism and Employment Forum at 3M headquarters in Maplewood.

DEED’s division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services was a sponsor of the forum and collaborated with the Autism Society of Minnesota in putting together two guides – one aimed at employers and another at job candidates – to help people with Autism Spectrum Disorder find work. The agency also worked with the autism group on a four-part DVD series that provides advice for job seekers with autism and potential employers.

What’s Happening to Middle-Wage Jobs? Fri, 05 Oct 2012 13:57:55 -0500 State of Minnesota

Employers are hiring according to Minnesota’s Job Vacancy Survey. There were 62,950 job openings in Minnesota in second quarter 2012, a 15.1 percent increase compared to one year ago and a 26.2 percent increase from last fall. There are 2.6 unemployed people for each job vacancy statewide, a better ratio than one year ago. This over-the-year decrease in the number of unemployed persons per vacancy is driven both by a decrease in the total number of unemployed and a strong increase in the number of job vacancies from one year ago. These data suggest that the labor market is beginning to come back into alignment after the recession. But are job seekers finding opportunities with good wage prospects?

What Employers Want: Listening Session Results Tue, 02 Oct 2012 13:59:26 -0500 State of Minnesota

One of the challenges faced by many businesses — even in this era of high unemployment — is finding quality workers. Employers say it can be difficult to find the right people with the right skills to meet their workforce needs.

To gain a clearer understanding of what businesses want from workers, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) partnered with DEED and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce last spring to conduct a series of listening sessions around the state.