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      ‘All Hands on Deck’ for Minnesota Jobs

      Posted on February 09, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      Governor Mark Dayton knows that Building a Better Minnesota means our workers must have the skills and training to fill the jobs of the 21st century.  That’s why Governor Dayton has made job creation and workforce development his top priority for the legislative session. 

      Today the Governor attended a meeting of the Governor’s Workforce Development Council (GWDC) to hear a presentation on their yearly report.  The Council serves an important role in workforce development, providing analysis and recommending policies to improve workforce readiness. 

      The report, entitled “All Hands on Deck: Sixteen Recommendations for Strengthening Minnesota’s Workforce,” offers recommendations to improve worker training, skill development, and education.  Many of the report recommendations mirror proposals laid out by the Governor and DFL legislators last month. 

      “We’re encouraged by Governor Dayton’s support for our plan and his efforts to make the Minnesota workforce a top priority in the legislative session,” said Inez Wildwood, who chairs the GWDC. “These proposals are crucial for ensuring that Minnesota has a strong workforce that will keep the state competitive globally.”

      The “All Hands on Deck” report recommends an expansion of the current FastTRAC program statewide.  The initiative is a state program that helps prepare adult workers to succeed by improving basic skills education and focusing on career specific training.  The program will help train and prepare Minnesota workers for high demand careers in fields such as health care, education, and manufacturing.

      In January Governor Dayton recommended the Legislature approve an additional $4.5 million in annual spending for FastTRAC expansion, with a goal of serving 3,000 Minnesotans by 2013.

      The report also includes recommendations to educational opportunities for adult workers that wish to expand their careers or gain new training.  Governor Dayton proposed a Minnesota Opportunity Grants Pilot Program, which would provide $2,000 grants for 2,000 Minnesotans for up to two semesters of training for jobs that pay more than 175 percent of the federal poverty level.

      You can find the GWDC’s ‘All Hands on Deck: Sixteen Recommendations for Strengthening Minnesota’s Workforce’ report here.