A student’s learning does not end at the school bell. Even though a child spends most of their time outside of the classroom, educators can keep students engaged by offering high-quality after-school programs to extend the learning day.
Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed October 23 Lights on Afterschool Day, connecting Minnesota to a national celebration of after-school programming. More than 90 after-school programs throughout the state will host events on Thursday, and in recognition of this, the lights on the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge and the Lowry Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis will glow gold tomorrow evening. The iconic Empire State Building in New York City will shine with the same color that night, connecting the Midwest to celebrations across the country.
This will be the 15th annual Lights on Afterschool celebration, which is organized by The Afterschool Alliance, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of after-school programs and advocating for more investment in them.
Governor Mark Dayton at a plant tour during the Minnesota Manufacturers' Week
Minnesota’s manufacturing industry is a critical part of the state economy – employing one out of every nine workers in our state. In honor of their contributions to our state, Governor Dayton has proclaimed this week to be “Minnesota Manufacturers Week.” The Governor’s proclamation highlights the important role manufacturers’ play in the success of the state as well as ample opportunities for employment.
“Last year, manufacturing contributed over $43 billion to our state's economy and employed over 300,000 workers,” said Governor Dayton. “This week we celebrate the hard work and many accomplishments of Minnesota’s manufacturers, and reaffirm our commitment to their continuing success."
About 307,000 people work in manufacturing in Minnesota, primarily in such areas as computer and electronic products, foods, fabricated metal products and machinery. Manufacturing contributes $43.7 billion to the state economy – 16 percent of Minnesota’s gross domestic product – and the industry accounted for $19.3 billion in state exports last year.
Salaries in the sector are much higher than most other industries in the state because many manufacturing jobs require high-tech skills to operate advanced technology and computer-controlled equipment. The average manufacturing position in the state paid $59,565 last year, over $10,000 more than the typical job in Minnesota.
In recognition of Minnesota Manufacturers' Week, activities including plant tours, keynote speakers and educational activities are planned to help promote the growing industry. To read more about Minnesota Manufacturers' Week or to schedule a tour of a facility, visit http://mn.gov/deed
If you are interested in the manufacturing industry, here are additional resources:
Unison Comfort Technologies, a manufacturer of heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems for the commercial sector, is expanding its facilities in north Minneapolis and will add 75 jobs. The company, headquartered at 60 28th Ave. N., said it is expanding because of increased demand for its HVAC products, which include air handling equipment, rooftop units, energy recovery systems, dehumidification units, and heating and cooling coils. The company plans to invest $627,000 in the expansion and will create jobs paying an average salary of $16.90 an hour.The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is assisting with the expansion with a $400,000 grant from the Minnesota Job Creation Fund. The company will receive the funding after meeting its hiring and investment commitments.
The Job Creation Fund, which was first proposed by Governor Mark Dayton to encourage job growth in Minnesota, will award $24 million in business incentives that were approved in the 2013 legislative session. Officials said the program is helping the state to compete for new jobs and businesses.
“The Minnesota Job Creation Fund is working, helping businesses expand and create thousands of new jobs across Minnesota,” said Governor Dayton. “I congratulate Unison Comfort Technologies for their success, and thank the company for the 75 good-paying jobs this expansion will create.”
On Friday, Governor Dayton visited the Mall of America in Bloomington to celebrate the completion of the Lindau Lane road improvement project. Thanks to $15.4 million in funding from the Governor and the Minnesota Legislature, the Mall of America’s more than 40 million visitors will notice some improvements starting this fall.
Governor Dayton joined local leaders as the new Lindau Lane Corridor opened to traffic, reducing congestion for those heading to the Mall of America. The new corridor project also is expected to foster economic development in Bloomington and provide safer access to parking for the largest shopping mall in the United States.
“This project will greatly improve the flow of traffic for cars and pedestrians entering the Mall,” said Governor Dayton. “It will improve safety, support commerce, and help eliminate the backlog of traffic that we have seen pile up for years at this intersection.”
Governor Dayton announces Corridors of Commerce transportation projects
Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced the acceleration of 13 more transportation projects in addition to the 14 prior to date. In 2014, Governor Dayton and the Legislature invested in the Corridors of Commerce initiative, which will be funding twelve of these plans. The final project – the expansion of Highway 371 to four lanes from Nisswa to Jenkins – was funded in part by $45 million in cost savings at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).
“These projects will reduce travel times, improve safety for Minnesota citizens, and help our businesses transport their products more efficiently,” said Governor Dayton, who working with the Legislature in 2013 and 2014 invested over $331 million in the new Corridors of Commerce initiative. “The number of projects from all over our state, which sought financing from this program, underscores the acute need for more transportation funding.”
State savings through efficiencies will accelerate the Highway 371 expansion project by two years, which means that MnDOT will begin construction in 2016, two years earlier than planned. This was made possible with funding from new investments in the Corridors of Commerce initiative, as well as the cost savings. Altogether, 27 transportation projects have received Corridors of Commerce funding since November 2013.
ST. PAUL, MN — More than 40 schools statewide are participating in International Walk to School Day Wednesday, Oct. 8, to encourage students, parents, teachers, community members and organizations to get out on sidewalks and trails. The event is anticipated to draw participation from more than 4,000 schools from all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, as well as 40 countries around the world.
This event is an opportunity for families with children who typically ride a school bus, and who live in areas with bike friendly paths to school, to walk and bike to school. Many schools participate by arranging for school buses to drop off students at a nearby park or other safe locations to finish the trip on foot. The drop-off option also can be used for students who are usually driven to school in private vehicles.
“Participating with school children emphasizes the importance of increasing physical activity, teaching pedestrian safety, reducing traffic congestion and building connections between families, schools and communities,” -Nicole Campbell, Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School coordinator.
Last year's International Walk to School Day at Lyndale Community School in Minneapolis
ST. PAUL, MN – With the first month behind them, thousands of students across the state are settling into their classrooms for the 2014-15 school year. Governor Dayton visited Duluth today, meeting with kindergarten students and teachers at Congdon Park Elementary.
Since 2011, the Governor and the Minnesota Legislature have invested $895 million in schools. This year, more than 55,000 of Minnesota’s youngest learners will benefit from free all-day kindergarten, while others will benefit from high-impact initiatives designed to increase literacy and close the achievement gap.
“As Minnesota’s students and teachers return to the classroom, I wish them all a successful school year,” said Governor Dayton. “During the past four years, the Legislature and I have worked to make high-impact investments that will improve academic achievement and prepare our students for future success.”
Governor Dayton visits with all-day kindergarten students at Congdon Park Elementary School in Duluth
Worthington is proudly known for its annual “King Turkey Day,” but this southwestern Minnesota town will now be rolling out the red carpet for another tasty bird. Next month, the 2014 Governor’s Pheasant Opener will be held in Worthington, which offers hunters several thousand acres of prime public land.
This year’s Worthington Opener is expected to be a productive one for Minnesota hunters. The 2014 Pheasant hunting survey shows that southwestern Minnesota is expected to have some of the best conditions across the state this fall.
However, hunting is hardly the only fun activity available to visitors. The Worthington area is home to great fishing, biking, and hiking opportunities as well, and for those looking for a less rigorous vacation, Worthington and surrounding communities offer great restaurants, golf courses, and museums.
Governor Mark Dayton today took a series of executive actions to protect children in Minnesota from the threat of abuse and neglect. These efforts include both immediate changes to the child protection system, and the establishment of a new Governor’s Task Force on the Protection of Children. The Task Force, appointed by the Governor, will make specific recommendations for comprehensive improvements to the child protection system in the upcoming 2015 Legislative Session.
“The abuse of any child in Minnesota is one child too many,” said Governor Dayton. “No child should have to suffer from the violence or neglect of a family member or other adult. I look forward to the recommendations of this new Task Force, and I urge the Legislature to act on them in January.”
Minnesota ranks among the top five states in child well-being. Still, in recent years some children have fallen through the cracks of the child protection system, suffering maltreatment and even death from violent abuse. The executive actions taken by Governor Dayton today will strengthen protections for children, and enhance the accountability and vigilance of state and local child protection systems.