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Commonsense Reforms for Minnesota Veterans

Posted on November 12, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Veterans, Jobs, Public Safety, Military Servicemembers

Nearly 400,000 military veterans call Minnesota home. We are proud to have them. Our veterans have bravely answered the call to service. From the Battle of Gettysburg to Iraq and Afghanistan, Minnesotans have fought to protect our country and our freedoms. Many of Minnesota’s veterans don’t stop serving when they leave the military either.

In 2013, Governor Mark Dayton signed new legislation to help our veterans make the transition. The new reform makes it easier for active duty service members to transition into jobs on the police force. The bill allows military service members to take a police officer reciprocity exam while they are on active duty. Previously, service members were only allowed to take the reciprocity exam after they were honorably discharged. This change allows men and women in the Armed Forces to move into civilian service without a long delay in employment.


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Accelerating Growth at Minnesota Manufacturers

Posted on November 01, 2013 at 12:00 PM
Categories: Jobs, Economy

Harmony Enterprise Manufacturing
Photo Content: Flickr User recycleharmony; Smart Pack Trash Compactor

Floe International Inc., a dock and boatlift manufacturer in McGregor, MN, was hit hard by the recession. After watching revenue drop to half its typical amount, the company turned to Enterprise MN – a business consulting non-profit – for help. Floe used Enterprise MN’s Growth Acceleration Program (GAP) to provide funding for 20 of the company’s 70 employees to receive special training that transformed the entire company.

Now Floe’s revenue per employee has more than doubled. Sales in 2012 hit an all-time high, which allowed Floe to build a 40,000 square foot addition. Floe International President Don VanderMey believes this GAP-funded training will continue to inspire the company’s growth.

This legislative session, Governor Mark Dayton worked with legislators to promote job growth and invest in small businesses located in Minnesota. They provided $750,000 for the Growth Acceleration Program. This grant will allow Enterprise MN to continue helping Minnesota manufacturing companies grow.

Since it was created in 2008, the Growth Acceleration Program at Enterprise MN has helped over 245 Minnesota manufacturing companies invest in their organizations. GAP is a matching grant that enables small manufacturing companies to access business improvement services. GAP provides up to $1 of state money for every $3 a company invests. The initiative has helped these companies create or retain 1,700 jobs.

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College and Career Readiness

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Education, Jobs, Economy

Photo Content: Flickr User J. Stephen Conn
Photo Content: Flickr User J. Stephen Conn; Minnesota State University, Moorhead

Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that 70 percent of all jobs in Minnesota will require at least some postsecondary education by 2018. To meet those growing demand for an educated workforce, Governor Mark Dayton and the DFL Legislature enacted real reforms to ensure Minnesota kids are prepared for the good jobs of tomorrow.

To build a world-class workforce, they invested in initiatives proven to make a big impact like early-childhood education and all-day, every-day kindergarten. Investments like these will help close Minnesota’s achievement and improve our economy for years to come.

Critically, the Governor and legislature also worked to reform testing. Minnesota will replacing the GRAD test with a new test that is similar to the ACT, which will do a better job of indicating whether our students are prepared for college or careers.

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Worthington to Host 2014 Pheasant Opener

Posted on October 12, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Categories: Economy, Sports, Outdoors, Jobs

On Lake Okabena in Worthington

Move over turkeys.  Come next fall, pheasants will get top billing in the City of Worthington. The Minnesota community known for its annual King Turkey Day will be making room for visiting pheasant hunters.  

Governor Mark Dayton announced Worthington as the 2014 Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener Host City, during this year’s opener banquet in Madelia. Hunters who attend the 2014 Pheasant Opener will have the opportunity to enjoy more than 4,800 acres of public hunting land in the Worthington-area.

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Governor Dayton Visits Minneapolis Community and Technical College’s Remodeled Healthcare Facilities

Posted on October 04, 2013 at 11:35 AM
Categories: Education, Budget, Technology, Jobs

 Governor Dayton talks with MCTC students

Governor Dayton talks to MCTC students abour their new state-of-the-art training facility.

 

Yesterday, Governor Mark Dayton visited Minneapolis Community and Technical College’s (MCTC) brand new nursing and allied health care facilities. The Governor’s 2012 bonding bill provided $13.4 million for the renovation efforts – allowing the school to consolidate and modernize lab space for its nursing, phlebotomy and electroneurodiagnostic technology programs. The new space also emulates a hospital setting to better prepare students for future employment.

When Minnesota invests in infrastructure projects like this one, we also are making critical investments in people. These newly upgraded facilities will provide future nurses and other health care professionals access to state-of-the-art training that will prepare them for success in their careers.


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Minnesota Eighth on Forbes List of Best States for Business

Posted on September 26, 2013 at 10:58 AM
Categories: Jobs, Commerce, Economy

Minnesota ranked eighth in the “Forbes 2013 List of the Best States for Business,” jumping 12 spots from a year earlier on the strength of an improving economy, according to the publication.
 
Minnesota’s overall 2013 ranking was the biggest improvement of any state in the eighth-annual study, which looks at six key metrics: costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.
 
Virginia ranked No. 1 in the study, followed by North Dakota, Utah, North Carolina, Colorado, Nebraska and Texas.

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Picture this: Hundreds of new jobs coming to Shakopee

Posted on September 10, 2013 at 1:40 PM
Categories: Jobs, Economy

Governor Dayton, Shutterfly executives, and local officials break ground in Shakopee for a new 217,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility that will bring hundreds of new jobs to Minnesota

Governor Dayton, Shutterfly executives, and local officials break ground in Shakopee for a new 217,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility that will bring hundreds of new jobs to Minnesota

At a groundbreaking ceremony today, Governor Mark Dayton, Mayor Brad Tabke, other state and local officials, and executives of Shutterfly, Inc. got a picture of what a new 217,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility will look like in Shakopee. The company, based in San Francisco, is expanding its operations to include a manufacturing facility in Minnesota, creating hundreds of new full- and part-time jobs in the state.
 
"Shutterfly's expansion will bring hundreds of new jobs to Shakopee and Minnesota,” said Governor Dayton, who met with Shutterfly executives earlier this summer in San Francisco. “Great credit goes to the City of Shakopee, Scott County, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, and Greater MSP for this tremendous achievement."
 
The move was aided in part by a loan of up to $1 million from the Minnesota Investment Fund – an incentive tool, which helps the State of Minnesota compete successfully for businesses and the jobs that come with it.
 
"We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Shutterfly to Minnesota,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “Shutterfly ranked ninth in Forbes' fastest growing companies in 2013 and is also ranked as one of the best places to work. Minnesota has the talented and productive workforce to help fuel Shutterfly’s rapid growth."


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Worldwide Equipment Leader Toro Announces Expansion in Bloomington

Posted on September 09, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Economy, Jobs

Governor Dayton joins Toro leaders at their Bloomington Expansion

Governor Dayton and DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben join Toro leaders at their Bloomington, MN Expansion

Minnesota companies are shifting into expansion mode. In the latest example, Toro Co. broke ground today on a 75,000-square-foot expansion project that will bring 50 new corporate jobs and retain nearly 900 jobs at the company’s headquarters in Bloomington.

“Toro is a longtime Minnesota manufacturer that has been operating in the state for 99 years,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “We’re grateful that the company chose Minnesota for latest expansion and congratulate their leadership and employees on all of their success.”

The company, which specializes in manufacturing lawnmowers, snow blowers, leaf blowers and other outdoor equipment, will add a three-story addition on the north side of its headquarters building at Lyndale Avenue South and 82nd Street West.

To assist in the expansion project DEED plans to award Toro a $750,000 forgivable loan from the Minnesota Investment Fund.

The project is the latest in a series of corporate expansions in Minnesota this year. Through the first two quarters, 80 businesses have announced expansion projects that will create more than 2,800 jobs in the state.


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Minnesota Workforce: Quality and Employment Data

Posted on August 28, 2013 at 2:14 PM
Categories: Jobs, Human Rights

20130828_CareerFair.jpeg 

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Minnesota workforce is 2.8 million strong as of July 2013. Minnesotaworks.net held a career fair in November 2012 where community members were able to have their personal resumes critiqued to better prepare them for the job search (Photo courtesy of the Minnesota DEED Facebook page).

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.

Some look to the state’s labor market participation rate as an indicator that Minnesotans are hard working. We know Minnesota’s labor force participation rate, which measures the proportion of the population age 16 and older that is employed or actively looking for work, is 70.3 percent, the third-highest labor force participation rate nationwide. The U.S rate is 63.7 percent.


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FastTRAC Initiative paves the way for hard working Minnesotans

Posted on July 30, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Categories: Education, Jobs

Minnesota FastTRAC Initiative
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.

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