Gov. Dayton talking to a student following the roundtable discussion.
Governor Mark Dayton continued his commitment to job creation and economic prosperity in Minnesota today, as his “Working for Minnesota Jobs” tour visited Brooklyn Park. The Governor hosted a roundtable discussion with information technology leaders in Minnesota’s retail sector. The Governor was joined by industry leaders and top CIOs from major Minnesota retailers, including Best Buy, Gander Mountain and Supervalu. The roundtable was held at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park.
The discussion focused on new strategies to connect Minnesota workers with the skills and training they need to keep good-paying IT jobs here in the state. Minnesota retailers discussed the challenge of finding qualified IT workers located within the state. Often, businesses rely on advanced enterprise information technologies, such as Oracle Retail. Without local training programs for specific software, many retail companies must import workers or employ workers from outside of Minnesota.
In response to this shortfall, a group of private companies based in and around Minnesota, including Gander Mountain, Mills Fleet Farm, Maurice's, Orscheln Farm and Home, Scheels Sports, and others, have established the Oracle Retail User Group. This group, representing more than $2 billion a year in revenue, has launched an initiative to improve the skills of the Minnesota workforce in this key area of Minnesota’s economy. The Oracle Retail User Group is forming a public-private partnership with North Hennepin Technical College to establish an Oracle Retail Center of Excellence that will train Minnesota workers and keep good-paying jobs here in our state.
The IT services industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of Minnesota’s economy. Professionals in this industry provide essential services for almost every type of company in Minnesota – from large financial service companies like Wells Fargo to national retailers like Target.Minnesota has a long history of leadership in the information technology industry. In 2011, the information technology industry contributed over 96,378 direct Minnesota jobs totaling more than $8.1 billion in wages.Employment in the IT services industry is expected to grow by 22 percent over the next 8 years with average earnings per employee of over $60,000 per year.
Working for Minnesota Jobs
Continuing his strong commitment to job creation and economic prosperity, Governor Dayton has been traveling statewide to identify opportunities and barriers to economic growth in key sectors of Minnesota’s economy. Over the last several weeks, the Governor has hosted roundtable discussions in Willmar, Austin, Worthington, Brainerd, Chaska, and the Iron Range. The Governor has met directly with business owners, workers, and local leaders to seek input on what measures should be taken in the legislative session to enhance Minnesota’s economic competitiveness, stimulate private sector job growth, and open new doors of employment opportunity for Minnesota workers.