Two years into his administration, Governor Mark Dayton is continuing his efforts to build a Better Minnesota. The Dayton Administration is taking note of what has been accomplished so far while still considering the work that is yet to be done.
One important component of building a Better Minnesota is supporting a clean and healthy environment. Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 lakes and a state where people care about the health and integrity of our natural resources. A healthy environment is central to the quality of life that all Minnesotans enjoy, and a crucial component in the success of our economy. Governor Dayton is committed to protecting and improving our natural resources, and leaving a legacy of clean water, cleaner air, and better parks and trails for future generations of Minnesotans.
For years, the Minnesota River has been considered one of the most polluted rivers in the state. But collaborative efforts across agencies have made important progress toward improving the health of the river.
Recent testing from the Pollution Control Agency showed marked improvements in dissolved oxygen, phosphorus, and chlorophyll levels. That means conditions have improved to support the health of fish and aquatic species populations in the river.
More work must be done to reduce sediment, bacteria, nutrients, and other contaminants in the river. But the work of over 40 wastewater treatment plants and other clean up efforts have put the Minnesota River on the path to recovery.
On February 1, Governor Mark Dayton and Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, visited the North St. Paul-Maplewood Oakdale ISD 622, to celebrate February as “I Love to Read” Month. The Governor and Commissioner, along with Read It, enjoyed story time with the Kindergartners and third graders.
Two years into his administration, Governor Mark Dayton is making important progress toward building a Better Minnesota. Measuring that progress by the improvements Minnesotans have seen in their lives, families, communities, and economy, the Dayton Administration is taking inventory of what has been accomplished thus far, and considering the work that still remains to be done.
One crucial measure of that progress is ensuring Minnesotans have the education and skills they need to achieve their goals. Building a better Minnesota starts with giving our children and workforce a world-class education, and the skills they need to succeed in a global economy.
That is why Governor Dayton is strongly committed to providing more funding for K-12 classrooms and early childhood education, increasing per pupil spending, and making college more affordable for Minnesotans. Governor Dayton is also focused on helping working Minnesotans access the education and workforce training they need to compete and succeed in today’s economy.
In 2011, Governor Dayton invested more than $55 million in early literacy. The Department of Education worked with every school district to develop local literacy plans that outline how curriculum, instruction, and assessments will be used to improve third grade reading scores.
Early results of this key investment are promising: In 2012, student in grades 3-8 made substantial overall gains in reading, with notable progress among American Indian and Hispanic students.
Employment Resource Team from the National Guard, with the help of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), traveled to Kuwait in March 2012 in order to provide workshops and job search assistance for 1,080 soldiers from 10 different states
Two years into his administration, Governor Dayton continues to make crucial progress towards building a Better Minnesota. Measuring that progress by the improvements Minnesotans have seen in their lives, families, communities, and economy, the Dayton Administration is taking inventory of what has been accomplished over the last two years and considering the work ahead.
One important measure of that progress is improving the condition of Minnesota’s economy. Governor Dayton is focused on getting Minnesotans back to work by creating opportunities for all Minnesotans. A successful economy requires strong business growth, a skilled workforce and employment opportunities for everyone.
Helping Minnesota veterans find employment opportunity has been a high priority for Governor Dayton. So when an employment survey of Minnesota National Guard soldiers serving in Kuwait showed that over 900 soldiers (28%) would not have a job when they returned from combat, the Dayton Administration took action.
Following the survey, an Employment Resource Team from the National Guard, with the help of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), traveled to Kuwait in March 2012 in order to provide workshops and job search assistance for 1,080 soldiers from 10 different states. Those efforts delivered results for hundreds of military families who may otherwise have faced the prolonged challenges of unemployment.
Of the 2,700 Minnesota soldiers returning from Kuwait last spring, only 78 are still unemployed – a 90% improvement in only four months.
Didn’t have a chance to check out the MinnesotaWorks.net Career Fair last Thursday? Here’s a play-by-play of what happened and some of the useful information given out to the 1,700 job seekers who attended.
Eager job searchers began arriving at 6:30 a.m. and the flow of people remained steady the entire day. One job seeker said she felt hopeful that she would find a job at the fair. Employers we spoke to said they found lots of qualified candidates for their open positions.
The resume critique center was busy throughout the day. Within minutes of opening, a 40 minute wait developed for meeting with a resume expert. A convenient ticket system allowed job searchers to grab a number and continue meeting with employers while they waited for their resume critique. According to one resume expert, one common tip they gave to job seekers throughout the day was to make sure all work experience and skills are listed on your resume.
Made on the Range, the IRRRB’s new website, is connecting Minnesotans with local businesses this holiday season. Commissioner Tony Sertich promoted the site yesterday, which in its first year has attracted 336 area businesses and visits from 50,000 Minnesota shoppers looking to buy local. To find local businesses or have your business featured, visit madeontherange.com.
Today, Governor Dayton, Commissioner of Agriculture Dave Frederickson, Minnesota’s Turkey Growers Association (MTGA), and Hunger Solutions Minnesota, kicked off Thanksgiving week in Minnesota at the Governor’s Office. Minnesota is currently ranked #1 for turkey production in the U.S. with its 250 turkey farmers raising an estimated 47 million turkeys in 2012. Governor Dayton, Minnesota’s turkey farmers, and Hunger Solutions Minnesota also addressed ending hunger across the state.
The event was a time-honored tradition, going back more than two decades.
President and turkey farmer Duane Jaenicke announced the donation of 11,150 pounds of turkey - a total of 1,180 whole birds - to Hunger Solutions Minnesota (HSM), which will be distributed to food shelves and food banks across the state.
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.
Governor Dayton observes how a heart catheter is inserted into a chamber of the heart.
Today, Governor Dayton continued “Working for Minnesota Jobs,” hosting a roundtable discussion with medical technology innovators from across Minnesota. The event took place at Lake Region Medical – a medical device manufacturer headquartered in Chaska.
Governor Dayton observed a Menthis Cath Lab simulator demonstration, which utilizes real case studies to help Lake Region Medical develop and improve product technology and performance to meet patient and physician needs. Afterwards, sixteen business and research leaders in the emerging medical device field joined Governor Dayton for a medical technology roundtable discussion.
There are currently 585 medical device companies in Minnesota. There are roughly 29,351 Minnesota workers in this industry with 16,061 employed in the manufacturing of medical devices totaling $1.21 billion in annual wages.
Governor Dayton joins Magnetation employees for a tour of mining facilities
Governor Mark Dayton’s “Working for Minnesota Jobs” tour continued today on the Iron Range, focused on value-added mining opportunities that will get Minnesotans back to work.
Governor Dayton was joined by IRRRB Commissioner Tony Sertich on a tour of Magnetation, Inc., a company founded in 2006 that uses low-grade natural ore tailings to produce marketable iron ore concentrate. Following the tour, the Governor and Commissioner Sertich hosted a roundtable discussion with area mining industry leaders at NRRI Coleraine Minerals Research Laboratory.
Minnesota is one of the world’s largest producers of iron ore with over 100 million tons of taconite being mined each year. In 2011 the mining industry contributed over 5,800 direct Minnesota jobs totaling $474 million in wages. Minnesota is also home to four billion ton deposits of critical and strategic metals.
Working for Minnesota Jobs
Continuing his strong commitment to job creation and economic prosperity, Governor Dayton is traveling statewide to identify opportunities and barriers to economic growth in key sectors of Minnesota’s economy. The Governor is meeting directly with business owners, workers, and local leaders to seek input on what measures should be taken in the upcoming legislative session to enhance Minnesota’s economic competitiveness, stimulate private sector job growth, and open new doors of employment opportunity for Minnesota workers.