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Showing posts from November 2012. Show all posts

Working to Address Homelessness Among Minnesota Veterans

Posted on November 15, 2012 at 10:31 AM
Categories: Veterans, Military Servicemembers

Rendering for new homeless veterans supportive housing development on the VA Medical Campus in St. Cloud

Rendering for new homeless veterans supportive housing development on the VA Medical Campus in St. Cloud

The Dayton Administration recently announced a $20.4 million Minnesota Housing Finance project that will help homeless veterans find support and housing. The grant will create nearly 100 units of permanent supportive rental housing for veterans who have experienced homelessness. In St. Cloud, the funding will create 35 new housing units on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical campus and another 58 units will be created by renovating five historic buildings at Fort Snelling's upper post in Minneapolis.

The veterans housing developments are part of $134 million in housing awards from Minnesota Housing to build, preserve and support affordable housing across the state. These developments were made possible in part by the 2012 bonding bill, which included $30 million in Housing Infrastructure bond proceeds, including more than $9 million to build the veterans developments.

“From rehabilitating historic buildings at Fort Snelling for homeless veterans to preserving critical affordable housing in greater Minnesota, we are able to help fill critical gaps in housing,” said Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal. “The impact of the total leverage created by the $134 million housing investment will create more than 4,500 jobs and will assist nearly 3,100 households across the state.”


Governor Dayton Proclaims General Mills a Yellow Ribbon Company

Posted on November 13, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Governor Dayton with General Mills CEO Ken Powell and Major General Richard Nash of the Minnesota National Guard

Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed General Mills and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Yellow Ribbon Companies last Thursday for their work supporting veterans.

The Minnesota National Guard’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program is designed to connect service members with resources that can help them adjust to civilian life after returning from deployment. The Yellow Ribbon program recognizes communities and companies that create comprehensive networks connecting agencies, organizations, and employers for the purpose of better bringing those resources to veterans.

To be recognized, communities develop sustainable action plans to connect key groups throughout the community and raise awareness of resources for returning service members.

By the end of 2012, almost 200 cities, counties, and businesses will have been recognized for their work supporting service members and their families.

To get in touch with your local Yellow Ribbon network, visit


Cheers for 2012 Minnesota Milken Educator Steve Abenth at Highland Park Elementary

Posted on November 13, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Cheers for 2012 Minnesota Milken Educator Steve Abenth at Highland Park Elementary

Innovative instruction plus strong student achievement equals a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for 4th-grade math teacher Steve Abenth at Highland Park Elementary, St. Paul, MN. Steve told Commissioner of Education Dr. Brenda Cassellius, U.S. Representative Betty McCollum, colleagues and students that he’ll use the prize to further his education.


Free Transportation Services for Disabled Veterans

Posted on November 13, 2012 at 9:00 AM
Categories: Transportation, Health, Veterans

MetCouncil and MetroTransit work together to continue to make free transportation services a priority for disabled veterans in Minnesota.

Since 2009, disabled veterans have been able to ride free on transit systems throughout the state, including Minneapolis-St. Paul’s Metro Transit, suburban transit systems, and on buses run by transit systems in Duluth, St. Cloud, Moorhead, Rochester, and other major cities in Minnesota. This service provides free rides for over 50,000 of Minnesota’s disabled vets, as well as their personal care attendants who may be traveling with them.

To ride free, disabled veterans need to show a Veterans Identification Card issued by a VA Medical Center with the words "Service Connected" or "SC" below the photo.

Bus routes and the Hiawatha Line provide connections to the VA Medical Center in South Minneapolis. Ramsey Station on the Northstar line will open on November 14. It is adjacent to the year-old VA Outpatient Clinic in Ramsey.

For more information, call MN Dept. of Veterans Affairs at (651) 556-0596 or visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website for details on obtaining a Veterans Identification Card.


A Veteran Success Story

Posted on November 12, 2012 at 9:30 AM
Categories: Jobs, Veterans, Military Servicemembers

blog-veteran_success_story.jpegJason J. Anderson, a captain in the Minnesota National Guard, is a Veteran Employment Success Story and showcases the Dayton Administration’s commitment to unify state government in hiring Minnesota’s veterans. Capt. Anderson does more than just preach his best practices for finding employment – he lives them every day, even while running the most mundane of errands.

Once, while Anderson was out shopping for a blender, a conversation with another customer at a common bed and bath products store turned into a prime networking opportunity. After discussing the merits of different blenders, the spontaneous encounter transitioned to employment, and Anderson was ready to hand his contact information over to the other customer, whose husband was a well-connected businessman.

“Always leave the house dressed professionally, and carry your business cards,” Anderson said. “I almost landed a job while buying a blender!”

Those two tips were just two of many Anderson used as part of a complete employment strategy after he was laid off from his previous employer. In addition to his list of best practices, Anderson reached out and built a working relationship with a Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Veterans Employment Representative. Both efforts were essential in him landing a project management position with U.S. Bank in August.


Governor Dayton Goes to the Polls

Posted on November 06, 2012 at 10:22 AM


Governor Mark Dayton voted this morning in Minnesota’s general election. Polls will be open until 8 p.m. tonight. For more information on voting and to find your polling place, visit the website of the Minnesota Secretary of State.


New Online Permit System Gets Minnesota Building Faster

Posted on November 05, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Categories: Reform

As part of the Dayton administration’s continued efforts to Build a Better Government for a Better Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) announced today that eTRAKiT, the agency’s new online permit system, has dramatically improved the efficiency of issuing permits.

Since implementing the system a year ago, the staff time required to issue electrical permits has been cut in half and the time to process permits has been reduced by 90 percent.  Permits that used to take up to 6 weeks to process are now issued either instantly or within 3 days. 

With the proven success of using eTRAKiT to apply for electrical permits, DLI is now working to implement the online permit service for all construction codes and licensing disciplines, such as building, elevators, mechanical and plumbing.

To find out more, visit the DLI website.


Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities named finalist on Autism Help App

Posted on November 01, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Technology

Photo by Tom & Katrien, Flickr

The Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (DDC) will be a finalist at the Minnesota High Tech Association’s Tekne Awards on Thursday for its work on the Autism Help App for Emergencies. Development of the app was done in collaboration with the Autism Society of Minnesota. The DDC is one of three finalists in the Mobile & Communication Technologies category. In September, the DDC’s work on the app was also honored with a Digital Government Achievement Award.

“For people with Autism Spectrum Disorders, effective communication in emergency situations is a very real and very serious issue,” said DDC Executive Director Colleen Wieck. “But standard first responder techniques may not work, given ASD-related communication issues involving verbal direction, physical touch, and flashing lights. This application is the first mobile, digital technology tool addressing the issue.”


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