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Showing posts from July 2013. Show all posts

Defending the Dedicated: Better Supporting Minnesota’s National Guard Members

Posted on July 19, 2013 at 9:02 AM
Categories: Military Servicemembers

National guard family
Photo Credit: Minnesota National Guard.

Roughly 14,000 Minnesotans serve in the Minnesota National Guard. As part of their service, they commit one weekend a month plus an additional two weeks during the summer to the guard. To reduce cost of service, Minnesota and local governments offer public employees serving in the National Guard 15 days of paid military leave each year.

Recently some municipalities have begun requiring their employees serving in the National Guard to take all their paid military leave prior to using any unpaid leave. For state and local employees working a typical Monday through Friday week this doesn’t have any impact on their family budget. 

However for police officers, fire fighters, and emergency medical technicians who work overnight or on the weekend they may be forced to use all their paid leave early in the year. This has created a situation where our public servants and National Guard service members then are forced into a financial hardship during their two weeks of active duty service. 

To better support our state and local employees serving in the military, Governor Mark Dayton and the DFL legislature clarified the state law. Going forward, local governments won’t be allowed to require National Guard members to take their paid leave first. The new law allows employees to spread their paid and unpaid leave throughout the year so they don’t endure any severe financial hardship.

Simple clarifications like these are just another way Governor Dayton is working to help the women and men serving in Minnesota’s National Guard. Members of our National Guard sacrifice their time for all of us – they shouldn’t have to sacrifice their family’s financial wellbeing too. 


Budget for a Better Minnesota: What's In It For Children

Posted on July 18, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Education, Budget

During the 2013 legislative session, Governor Mark Dayton worked with legislators to create a better Minnesota for children and their families.
A student sits with a thank-you note for Governor Mark Dayton. Gov. Dayton worked with legislators during the 2013 legislative session to create a better Minnesota for children and their families.

During the 2013 legislative session, Governor Mark Dayton worked with legislators to create a better Minnesota for children and their families. 

In a recent Waseca County News editorial, the commissioners for Education, Health, and Human Services: Brenda Cassellius, Ed Ehlinger, and Lucinda Jesson, respectively, explained all the ways the budget will enhance and improve the lives of thousands of Minnesota children. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Improving Minnesota Schools 
  • Addressing Child Homelessness
  • Keeping Kids Safe


The Minnesota Dream Act Informational Video

Posted on July 17, 2013 at 1:45 PM
Categories: Education

This video was produced for the Minnesota Office of Higher Education to share and spread information regarding the Minnesota Dream Act. As in how to apply and some things to expect on the application. Video produced by interns: Evan Gruenes, Laurel Schwartz, Alexandra Szajner, Linnea Moat with Governor Mark Dayton's Office.


Honoring Those Who Serve

Posted on July 17, 2013 at 11:42 AM
Categories: Military Servicemembers, Veterans

National Guard Honor Guard

Photo Credit: Minnesota National Guard. 

Providing military funerals is one way we show our gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country. This year, Governor Mark Dayton and the legislature provided new funding for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs’ funeral honor guard.

In recent years, funding for the honor guard has wavered. In 2011, the guard wasn’t funded and was only continued by shifting resources from other Veterans Affairs’ resources. Veterans regularly cite the funeral honor guard as one of the top benefits of military service making continued support for this program all the more essential.


Expanding Early Education Opportunities: Minnesota is a National Model

Posted on July 16, 2013 at 3:40 PM
Categories: Education

Governor Mark Dayton with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Minnesota – drawing attention to President Barack Obama’s proposal to expand funding for early learning programs. 

During his visit, Secretary Duncan and Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius visited a classroom at the Pond Early Childhood Center in Bloomington. Later at Bloomington Kennedy High School, Governor Mark Dayton joined Secretary Duncan and others for an education town hall meeting. 

Under the President’s proposal, Minnesota would receive $38,700,000 in the first year of the Preschool for All program. This funding, combined with a state match, would serve about 4,736 Minnesota kids in the first year alone.

Under Governor Dayton’s leadership, Minnesota already has invested in early education. During the past legislative session, Governor Dayton and the DFL legislature invested $600 million in E-12 education. That includes $40 million for early learning scholarships that will help more than 8,000 Minnesota kids attend high quality childcare and preschool.


Veteran Career Fair Reminder

Posted on July 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM
Categories: Veterans

Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed July to be “Hire a Veteran Month.”  Throughout the month, the Governor is encouraging Minnesota employers to hire veterans, connect military service members with job opportunities, and consider rededicating their efforts to hiring veterans in all twelve months of the year.

The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is holding a job fair to help connect veterans and employers. More than 1,000 former and current military members and approximately 100 Minnesota businesses with job opportunities are expected to participate.

Minnesota Veteran Career Fair 

When: Tuesday, July 16

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Where:  Earl Brown Heritage Center
             6155 Earle Brown Drive
             Brooklyn Center, MN


Vets Reps Link Former Marine to Milltronics

Posted on July 15, 2013 at 1:26 PM
Categories: Veterans

Chantharang Phouapradit, formerly a corporal and diesel mechanic in the U.S. Marine Corps., began looking for work after earning a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering. With job search assistance from Tim Labeau, Mark Mann, Dave Wold, and Grant Heino, all veterans employment reps at Minnesota WorkForce Centers (WFCs), he landed a job at Milltronics –Liberty Diversified International as a manufacturing engineer.

“Tim, Mark, Dave and Grant were a great help to me in getting employed,” he said.

They kept his attitude positive and gave him advice on many types of issues, he noted. Veterans employment reps connect veterans with other non-job related services that are available for veterans.

The vets reps provided links to the company that hired Phouapradit, helping him land two interviews that led to the job offer. He was notified of the vacancy by Mann. Both Heino and Mann later advocated for him as the ideal job candidate at meetings with Milltronics hiring managers. Vets reps such as Mann and Heino have strong ties with specific employers in the area, making it easier for job applicants to get their resumes in front of hiring managers.

Labeau and Wold provided Phouapradit coaching on interviewing and resume writing, and he had several practice interviews with them.

Phouapradit also attended veterans networking groups at the WFCs in Blaine and Brooklyn Park, where he heard from employers about hiring processes, learned job search techniques and shared tips on applying for employment with other veterans. Vets reps facilitate veterans networking groups, which are held at WFCs statewide.

Prior to Phouapradit’s successful job search, he received assistance from a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs program that he used for his college education.
For more information about veterans employment services, click here.

This post originally appeared in the DEED Developments Blog.


Beyond the Yellow Ribbon - Getting Veterans Back to Work

Posted on July 12, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Governor Dayton has declared July “Hire a Veteran Month” in Minnesota. The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon group is one of a number of resources veterans can turn to for employment help. Over 1,000 current and former military members and about 100 Minnesota businesses are expected to participate. This is part of an ongoing effort by the Governor to help Minnesota veterans find meaningful, good paying jobs. This segment originally aired on KIMT TV.


Veterans Best Candidates for Business Ownership

Posted on July 11, 2013 at 2:19 PM
Categories: Military Servicemembers, Jobs

This post originally appeared on the Minnesota Department of Economic Development DEED Developments Blog on July 11, 2013.

DEED representative, Mark Tessmer, speaks with a veteran.
DEED representative, Mark Tessmer, speaks with a veteran.

Veterans tend to be the best candidates for starting new businesses.

“They‘re disciplined, they understand technology, and they know how to get the job done,” said Mike Ryan, director, Minnesota Small Business Development Center at University of St. Thomas.

Owning a business has been an attractive option for veterans because they can have more control over their lives, be able to reap more of the rewards from their work, and make independent decisions.


Aiding the Afflicted: Supporting Military Families during Periods of Grief

Posted on July 10, 2013 at 10:43 AM
Categories: Military Servicemembers, Veterans

Our military families are strong and resilient, but sometimes their strength may cause us to overlook their sacrifice. Minnesota’s service members and military families endure for us all, which is why Governor Dayton remains committed to ensuring they are never forgotten.

In 1917, George Seibold was killed flying with the 148th U. S. Aero Squadron over Europe. His mother, Grace Darling Seibold, was stricken with grief. Rather than allowing her pain to become destructive, Grace founded the Gold Star program to support other mothers whose sons had lost their lives in military service. Eventually, this group of mothers met not to only comfort each other, but also to lavish loving care to hospitalized veterans confined in government hospitals far from home.

Today, the program comforts all relatives of men and women killed in action. Each summer, these military families are able to spend a weekend at Camp Ripley in Little Falls to honor, remember, and celebrate the heroism and lives of their loved ones. 

The retreat has grown each year from 70 attendees in 2008 to 180 in 2012. And each year there are family members who attend for the first time, even though the loss of their service member may have occurred long ago. 


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