The Minnesota FastTRAC Initiative provides a route for students to advance their careers while providing for their families.
In March of 2012, Patricia Rice found herself moving to Anoka County, leaving behind life in a shelter. As a single mother trying to support her two children, Patricia met with a Minnesota Family Investment Program job counselor where she was able to find a job in a nursing home. She enjoyed the job, but needed something that could further sustain her family and help the community.
Patricia then learned about the Minnesota FastTRAC Initiative, which would lead her toward her goal of becoming a certified nursing assistant.
The road to a degree can be difficult. Patricia found herself trying to balance her school and work, keeping a roof over her children’s heads. Thankfully, Minnesota FastTRAC provides understanding instructors and specially placed “navigators” who work with students to efficiently comprehend course materials. The Minnesota FastTRAC professors are determined to see their students succeed and move on into sustaining jobs.
Minnesota is veteran friendly, with roughly 600 veteran-owned businesses.
Minnesota is home to almost 400,000 veterans and roughly 600 veteran-owned businesses. A few years ago, Minnesota implemented a veteran-owned business preference for state contracting http://www.dot.state.mn.us/civilrights/veterans.html. The preference allowed these businesses to be more competitive when bidding on state contracts – helping veterans transition to civilian life and attract more retiring service members to our state.
The change has made Minnesota more veteran friendly and helped small businesses to grow in our state. Minnesota also has a similar preference for minority and women-owned businesses. The preference works by giving firms owned by disadvantaged groups a small boost during the bidding process.
Oakdale is undergoing a major makeover. The city is redeveloping underutilized and blighted areas around Tanner’s Lake and at the Oakdale Mall. The two projects will infuse more than $65 million into the local economy – creating 325 jobs in the construction, labor, retail, office, commercial, and medical sectors!
•Tanner’s Lake. Spending time at the lake is about to get even better. The project will remove three vacant buildings and replace them with high-quality commercial, housing, retail, and public spaces. The improved lakeshore should be fun for residents and visitors alike. The improved site will include a restaurant and pavilion along the shore.
•The Oakdale Mall. In recent years, the Oakdale Mall has become an eyesore. The renovated mall will include senior housing and 125,000 square feet new development. Mixing housing and commercial development will increase the vitality and livability of the area for years to come!
The support of Governor Mark Dayton and the DFL legislature was critical to the redevelopment of these blighted sites. This past spring, the Governor and the legislature passed a bill allowing the city of Oakdale to create a tax increment finance district (TIF). The technique, which is used by local government across Minnesota, allows Oakdale to use the increased tax value of the improved sites to pay for the initial renovations.
Supporting local projects is critical to growing Minnesota’s economy, which is why Governor Dayton supports economic development opportunities across our state. Some of the biggest projects from last legislative session included:
•The Mayo Clinic: Destination Medical Center. The project is expected to attract $6 billion in private investment, create 35,000 to 45,000 jobs, and ensure Rochester remains a premier global medical destination.
•3M Expansion. The creation of a new TIF district in Maplewood is going to help 3M construct a $150 million, 400,000 square-foot research and development lab – creating create 700 permanent jobs.
Projects like these are great way create good jobs for Minnesotans and demonstrate the power of collaboration between government and the private sector.
Celebrating the opening of Valley Cartage's new headquarters in Lake Elmo.
This week, Minnesota’s economy and job market just got even better. Trucking and shipping company Valley Cartage completed a move from Hudson, Wisconsin to Minnesota – the result of a $940,000 economic development package from the state of Minnesota. Valley Cartage’s new headquarters occupies a 26,000 square-foot building located in the Eagle Point Business Park in Lake Elmo.
The move isn’t just good for Valley Cartage; it’s also good for Minnesotans. The move means an estimated 50 new jobs in Minnesota—paying an average salary of $52,000—with an anticipated $30 million economic impact for the state!
Valley Cartage received $500,000 from the Minnesota Investment Fund and $400,000 from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED) Job Skills Partnership Program. To celebrate Valley Cartage’s move DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben will attend the ribbon cutting ceremony at the company’s new headquarters today.
To make the move a reality, DEED, Washington County, and the city Lake Elmo offered Valley Cartage support to help them cross the river. To help Valley Cartage bring new, good-paying jobs to Minnesota, they received an economic development package comprised of tax abatement, a forgivable loan, job training funds and energy credits.
Governor Mark Dayton and the DFL legislature are committed to creating new jobs for Minnesotans. This year, they provided $8.4 million for the Job Skills Partnership – ensuring this program can help businesses expand and hire Minnesotans.
Denny Christiansen, a veteran of the U.S. Army
This post originally appeared on the Minnesota Department of Economic DevelopmentDEED Developments Blog
on July 8, 2013.
Dennis “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.”
One area that Christiansen focused on was interviewing. He hadn’t been on a job interview for a long time and needed to brush up on techniques, especially how to answer behavioral questions, according to vets rep. Mark Mann. Christiansen received coaching on answering interview questions and had mock interviews.
During the past year, Minnesota’s economy has largely outperformed most of the United States. A recent survey finds Minnesota firms that provide business services are even more optimistic about next year.
The survey is just another indication that Minnesota employers believe our economy is headed in the right direction. Increased business confidence means new hiring and more investments – fueling further economic growth. In the future, Minnesotans can expect new and better job opportunities.
Here are some key findings from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve and Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development survey:
77 percent of Minnesota firms anticipate their sales revenue to grow or remain stable in the coming year.
75 percent of business services firms expect their profits to increase or remain stable in the next four quarters, compared with 62 percent last year.
53 percent of firms plan to increase the wages of employees during the next four quarters.
50 percent said their costs remained steady during the past year.
44 percent of firms expect employment to increase during the next year compared with only 36 percent last year.
Minnesota’s economy soared to new heights today. Endeavor Air (formerly Pinnacle Airlines) held a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the company’s move to Minnesota. Endeavor Air’s move is expected to create at least 200 new jobs in our state during the next two years.
Currently, Endeavor Air employs about 1,100 in Minnesota, including pilots, flight attendants, and aircraft maintenance workers. The airline has a significant presence outside of Minnesota as well, operating 189 regional jets on 1,000 daily flights to 124 cities in the United States and Canada. The company also may move additional aircraft maintenance positions to Minnesota in the future.
Working the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Endeavor found a great new headquarters located in a previously vacant site at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. The location will house both the airline’s corporate offices and flight operations center, which handles aircraft and crew scheduling.
Endeavor Air recognized that Minnesota’s highly skilled workforce and welcoming communities make our state a great place to do business. DEED also provided Endeavor Air a $550,000 forgivable loan from the Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) to help them make the move north from its previous headquarters in Memphis, TN.
The success of the MIF initiative in bringing Endeavor Air to Minnesota demonstrates the program’s importance as an economic development and job creation tool for the state. This isn’t the only success for the program either. During the last 8 years, MIF has funded 53 projects, creating thousands of jobs and leveraging $587 million in private economic development. In 2012, MIF helped Gerdau Long Steel in St. Paul, Stream Global Services in Eagan, and AAR Aircraft Services in Duluth expand and create new jobs across Minnesota.
This year, Governor Dayton and the Legislature invested an additional $30 million in the MIF initiative. This new investment is expected to attract $800 million in private business investment creating thousands of new jobs across Minnesota.
Growing the middle class is essential to Minnesota’s economy. This past legislative session, Gov. Mark Dayton delivered on his promise to create a Better Minnesota for the middle class. Working with the DFL legislature, the governor made new high-impact investments in the following areas:
Jobs and the economy
Property tax relief
These investments help Minnesota families with the basic by helping their kids get a world-class education, helping parents find good paying jobs and by providing needed property tax reductions.
Every child deserves top quality education that’s why, from early childhood programs to high schools, Minnesota schools will receive a $485 million funding increase during the next two years. This means more funding for every learner in every school – including $134 million to ensure that all Minnesota children have access free all-day kindergarten. It also includes $40 million in scholarships to help 8,000 more children attend high quality childcare and preschool, ensuring they are prepared for kindergarten and beyond!
More and more jobs require education beyond high school. During the next two years, Minnesotans will reap the benefits of a $250 million investment in higher education. This includes $46 million in financial aid for students and a tuition freeze to curb costs at all public colleges and universities in Minnesota.
A new Polaris R&D facility, supported in part by the Minnesota Investment Fund, is set to open this summer. Photo courtesy of Polaris Industries.
Last fall, Polaris Industries began a 144,000 sq. ft. expansion of their research and development facility in Wyoming, MN. The addition relieves overcrowding at the facility and keeps the company growing right here in Minnesota.
Currently, the research facility provides 375 good jobs for Minnesotans. After construction is completed later this summer, the Polaris facility will be twice as large and capable of employing an additional 350 people.
The Minnesota Investment Fund, which supports companies creating good jobs, is helping Polaris with the expansion. The state of Minnesota is providing them with a $400,000 loan. In return, Polaris has agreed to create at least 115 permanent jobs during the next two years.
The fund has helped other companies create new jobs for Minnesotans too. During 2012 alone, the Minnesota Investment Fund helped Gerdau Long Steel in St. Paul, Stream Global Services in Eagan, and AAR Aircraft Services in Duluth expand: creating hundreds of good-paying jobs across the state.