On Friday, thousands of Minnesota’s lowest-wage workers will get a well-earned raise. Friday’s increase will bring the new wage to $8.00 per hour – the first increase in the state’s minimum wage in nearly a decade. The minimum wage increase signed by Governor Mark Dayton will raise the wage to $9.50 per hour by 2016, and index it to inflation to help ensure Minnesotans’ wages keep up with the cost of living.
"Minnesotans who work full-time should be able to earn enough money to lift their families out of poverty and achieve the American Dream," said Gov. Mark Dayton. "Raising the minimum wage will improve the lives of more than 325,000 hard-working Minnesotans. I thank the Legislature for recognizing the need to make work pay in Minnesota."
Before Minnesota’s new wage goes into effect, our current wage of $6.15 per hour Minnesota was one of the lowest minimum wages in the nation – lower than neighboring Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota. In fact, Minnesota was one of only four states in the country with a minimum wage below the national rate of $7.25 per hour.
Super Radiator Coils (SRC) recently broke ground at its manufacturing facility in Minnesota to build a 22,000 s.f. addition to meet demand for heat exchanger coils that are used at nuclear power plants, as well as other applications. The company previously expanded its original 65,000 s.f. plant in 2012 with a 13,000 s.f. addition to build the same equipment.
The company is one of only three manufacturers in the world that are certified by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) to meet its high quality standards for nuclear power plant equipment and to display the society’s “N-Stamp” on its coils. The company also has a 110,000 sq. ft. plant in Richmond, VA, and two facilities in Phoenix, AZ, that total 65,000 sq. ft.
SRC will provide most of the funding itself for the new addition, but the company has been approved to receive a $287,500 grant from the Job Creation Fund of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). In addition, it will receive a $150,000 loan from the Carver County Business Loan Fund.
“The Minnesota Job Creation Fund was launched just seven months ago, but it has already helped more than a dozen businesses across the state expand, creating hundreds of new jobs,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “I thank Super Radiator Coils for this important expansion, and for the up to 30 new jobs this project will create.”
The new $4 million addition will result in the new jobs being created over the next three years for highly skilled workers, according to Rob Holt, SRC’s President and CEO. The privately held company employs more than 350 people at its three facilities.
Minnesota Cities Stand Out on National List of Best Places To Do Business
Minnesota received more good economic news yesterday. Three Minnesota cities ranked among the top 25 smaller cities in the country to do business and have a career. Mankato ranked third on the national list, followed by Rochester (23rd) and St. Cloud (24th).
The analysis, conducted by Forbes Magazine, considered U.S. cities with populations of less than 250,000. Forbes weighed several factors in making its rankings, including:
A section of the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System being constructed in South Dakota
Governor Mark Dayton traveled to Luverne last week to meet with local officials and area legislators to discuss next steps in advancing the construction of the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System. Governor Dayton listened, asked questions, and offered his continued support to ensure the project continues on course toward completion. The Governor stressed that the project is essential to maintaining a high quality of life in southwestern Minnesota, and in supporting the continued economic growth of the entire region.
“This project is critically important to the people and businesses of southwestern Minnesota,” said Governor Dayton. “Without it, business growth would be stifled, new jobs would be lost, and residents would continue being forced to buy bottled water. I will continue doing everything possible to see this project through to completion.”
A shortage of water in communities across southwestern Minnesota is stifling economic growth in the region, and diminishing the quality of life enjoyed by its citizens. Luverne’s isobutanol plant has expressed wishes to expand, but that expansion has been hampered due to a lack of available water in the area. The quality of aquifer water in many communities is so poor that residents have been forced to drink bottled water.
Governor Dayton breaking ground for maurices office building in Duluth - one of the many companies adding hundreds of job in Minnesota
Minnesota received more good economic news today. Today’s jobs report, released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), showed the state added 8,500 jobs in June. And the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent last month – the lowest it has been in seven years. In total, Minnesota has added nearly 160,000 new jobs since Governor Dayton took office in January 2011.
Governor Dayton, members of his Cabinet, and other key stakeholders gathered today at the University of Minnesota to discuss how the state can continue adding jobs in Minnesota’s growing clean energy sector. Tens of thousands of Minnesotans are employed already in clean energy jobs. As Minnesota builds on our nation-leading renewable energy policies, the Governor and his Administration are committed to growing the jobs that come along with it.
Governor Mark Dayton pictured with employees of Daikin Applied Americas at the July 11, 2014 groundbreaking ceremony.
OWATONNA, MN – This morning, Governor Mark Dayton helped break ground on a $9 million expansion of Daikin Applied Americas’ manufacturing facility in Owatonna. The new expansion, which received $1.45 million in state assistance from the state’s Minnesota Job Creation Fund and Minnesota Investment Fund, will create 40 new jobs in Owatonna with wages and benefits averaging $31 per hour.
“The Minnesota Job Creation Fund was launched just six months ago. It has already helped finance business expansions, like Daikin Applied’s, throughout our state, which have added hundreds of new jobs,” said Governor Dayton. “I thank Daikin Applied for its very important expansion in Owatonna and for its continued commitment to Minnesota.”
Daikin Applied is one of 15 companies that have received assistance from the Minnesota Job Creation Fund over the last six months to help finance a business expansion in Minnesota. Altogether, Daikin Applied received $880,000 from the Fund. In 2013, Governor Dayton and the Legislature invested $24 million in the initiative, which provides up to $1 million to qualifying businesses planning to expand and create new jobs in Minnesota.
Daikin Applied also received $600,000 from the Minnesota Investment Fund for its expansion. In 2013, Governor Dayton and the Legislature invested $30 million of ongoing funding in the initiative, which provides financing to help add new workers and retain high-quality jobs on a statewide basis. Between 2005 and 2012, the program saw an 86 percent decline in state funding. But new, ongoing funding provided by Governor Dayton and the Legislature is projected to help create thousands of new jobs and leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment in the state’s economy.
Daikin Applied, a member of Daikin Industries, Ltd., manufactures commercial HVAC systems. Daikin Industries, Ltd. is a Fortune 1000 company with more than 51,000 employees worldwide, making it the largest HVAC manufacturer in the world. Daikin is engaged primarily in the development, manufacture, sales and aftermarket support of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) equipment.
Governor Dayton shaking the hand of Norwegian Soccer star Jan Aage Fjortoft
Yesterday, Governor Mark Dayton traveled to the National Sports Center in Blaine to provide the welcoming remarks and participate in the Handshake for Peace with Norwegian Soccer star Jan Aage Fjortoft for the opening ceremony of the Schwan’s USA Cup International Youth Soccer Tournament.
This week, Minnesota again demonstrated why our state is a national leader in health care. New Dayton Administration reforms launched in 2013 to provide better care at lower costs have saved more than $10.5 million in just one year. And today, Mayo Clinic was named the best hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
This news comes after Minnesota saw a more than 41 percent decline in our uninsured rate – giving our state the second-lowest uninsured rate in the nation. And last month, Minnesota ranked first in the nation on AARP’s long-term care scorecard, demonstrating our state’s commitment to providing high-quality care to disabled and older Minnesotans.
Read more below:
NATION-LEADING REFORMS SAVE $10.5 MILLION IN FIRST YEAR
Minnesota’s new, nation-leading approach to delivering better quality health care at lower costs is paying off. In the first year of a pilot program announced by the Department of Human Services and Governor Mark Dayton in 2013, six health care providers serving 100,000 Minnesotans spent $10.5 million less than projected – cost savings that will benefit Minnesota taxpayers.
What Governor Dayton is saying:
“Some people talk about reform. We do it. Minnesota is the first state in the nation to implement these cost-saving reforms – and we have proven that this new approach delivers results. I thank the health providers who have partnered with us on this initiative, making it possible to deliver better care to over 100,000 Minnesotans.”
MAYO CLINIC RANKED BEST HOSPITAL IN THE NATION
Today, Mayo Clinic achieved the highest honor in U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of top hospitals, making it the best hospital in the country. Mayo Clinic earned more number one rankings than any other provider, ranking number one or number two in 11 of the 12 specialties based on reputation, services and volumes, safety and clinical outcomes.
What Governor Dayton is saying:
“These rankings reaffirm what millions of patients and doctors around the world already know: Mayo Clinic offers the best medical care in the world. Thanks to the wise investment made by our State Legislature in the development of a Destination Medical Center, I am confident Mayo will continue its tradition of excellence into the future. Congratulations, Mayo!”
Watch what Mayo Clinic President and CEO Dr. John Noseworthy is saying:
Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius speaks with students
Congratulations to the Minnesota Department of Education! This week, MDE’s Regional Centers of Excellence program won the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs 2014 State Government Innovation Award. The awards recognize excellence in state government agencies and seek to encourage experimentation and innovation in Minnesota. Winners were judged based on a three-part set of criteria: innovation (40% of the score), impact (30%) and sustainability (30%). The winning agencies demonstrated significant improvements in service, progress, and impact of the program.
To be considered, agencies had to demonstrate a performance management system for accountability, evaluations and program budgets. The winning agencies showcased programs that used technology in creative ways, targeted services to those most in need, and demonstrated collaboration and consolidation between organizations. An awards ceremony will be held Thursday, August 7, 2014 at the Minnesota History Center. Click here for more information.
Regional Centers of Excellence
The Minnesota Department of Education put in place Regional Centers of Excellence to focus schools and districts on closing achievement gaps between students. Center directors, regional staff, the Department of Education and service cooperatives work collaboratively to raise student achievement through support for all students. There are 6 centers across the State of Minnesota, serving the communities around Rochester, Sartell, Thief River Falls, Marshall, Fergus Falls and Mountain Iron.
Other Winners Include