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Minnesota Workforce: Quality and Employment Data

Posted on August 28, 2013 at 2:14 PM
Categories: Jobs, Human Rights

20130828_CareerFair.jpeg 

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Minnesota workforce is 2.8 million strong as of July 2013. Minnesotaworks.net held a career fair in November 2012 where community members were able to have their personal resumes critiqued to better prepare them for the job search (Photo courtesy of the Minnesota DEED Facebook page).

Employers relocating to Minnesota often tell DEED’s Business and Community Development representatives that the quality of the workforce is one of the driving factors. But what does quality mean?

Does equality equate with educational attainment? Labor force participation rate? The hard-to quantify — yet frequently heard – tireless work ethic? Rate of absenteeism? The quality of the workforce likely means different things to different employers.

Some look to the state’s labor market participation rate as an indicator that Minnesotans are hard working. We know Minnesota’s labor force participation rate, which measures the proportion of the population age 16 and older that is employed or actively looking for work, is 70.3 percent, the third-highest labor force participation rate nationwide. The U.S rate is 63.7 percent.


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FastTRAC Initiative paves the way for hard working Minnesotans

Posted on July 30, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Categories: Education, Jobs

Minnesota FastTRAC Initiative
The Minnesota FastTRAC Initiative provides a route for students to advance their careers while providing for their families.

In March of 2012, Patricia Rice found herself moving to Anoka County, leaving behind life in a shelter. As a single mother trying to support her two children, Patricia met with a Minnesota Family Investment Program job counselor where she was able to find a job in a nursing home. She enjoyed the job, but needed something that could further sustain her family and help the community.

Patricia then learned about the Minnesota FastTRAC Initiative, which would lead her toward her goal of becoming a certified nursing assistant. 

The road to a degree can be difficult. Patricia found herself trying to balance her school and work, keeping a roof over her children’s heads. Thankfully, Minnesota FastTRAC provides understanding instructors and specially placed “navigators” who work with students to efficiently comprehend course materials. The Minnesota FastTRAC professors are determined to see their students succeed and move on into sustaining jobs.

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Growing Veteran-owned Businesses and Creating Jobs for All Minnesotans

Posted on July 29, 2013 at 5:08 PM
Categories: Economy, Veterans, Jobs

A veteran uses a job fair to help find a job.
Minnesota is veteran friendly, with roughly 600 veteran-owned businesses.

Minnesota is home to almost 400,000 veterans and roughly 600 veteran-owned businesses. A few years ago, Minnesota implemented a veteran-owned business preference for state contracting http://www.dot.state.mn.us/civilrights/veterans.html. The preference allowed these businesses to be more competitive when bidding on state contracts – helping veterans transition to civilian life and attract more retiring service members to our state.

The change has made Minnesota more veteran friendly and helped small businesses to grow in our state. Minnesota also has a similar preference for minority and women-owned businesses. The preference works by giving firms owned by disadvantaged groups a small boost during the bidding process.

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Redevelopment Creating New Jobs in Oakdale

Posted on July 26, 2013 at 1:23 PM
Categories: Jobs

Oakdale

Oakdale is undergoing a major makeover. The city is redeveloping underutilized and blighted areas around Tanner’s Lake and at the Oakdale Mall. The two projects will infuse more than $65 million into the local economy – creating 325 jobs in the construction, labor, retail, office, commercial, and medical sectors!

Tanner’s Lake. Spending time at the lake is about to get even better. The project will remove three vacant buildings and replace them with high-quality commercial, housing, retail, and public spaces. The improved lakeshore should be fun for residents and visitors alike. The improved site will include a restaurant and pavilion along the shore.

The Oakdale Mall. In recent years, the Oakdale Mall has become an eyesore. The renovated mall will include senior housing and 125,000 square feet new development. Mixing housing and commercial development will increase the vitality and livability of the area for years to come!

The support of Governor Mark Dayton and the DFL legislature was critical to the redevelopment of these blighted sites. This past spring, the Governor and the legislature passed a bill allowing the city of Oakdale to create a tax increment finance district (TIF). The technique, which is used by local government across Minnesota, allows Oakdale to use the increased tax value of the improved sites to pay for the initial renovations.

Supporting local projects is critical to growing Minnesota’s economy, which is why Governor Dayton supports economic development opportunities across our state. Some of the biggest projects from last legislative session included:

The Mayo Clini c: Destination Medical Center. The project is expected to attract $6 billion in private investment, create 35,000 to 45,000 jobs, and ensure Rochester remains a premier global medical destination.

3M Expansion. The creation of a new TIF district in Maplewood is going to help 3M construct a $150 million, 400,000 square-foot research and development lab – creating create 700 permanent jobs.

Projects like these are great way create good jobs for Minnesotans and demonstrate the power of collaboration between government and the private sector. 


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Ribbon Cutting: Valley Cartage Moves Headquarters to Minnesota

Posted on July 19, 2013 at 11:57 AM
Categories: Jobs

Valley Cartage
Celebrating the opening of Valley Cartage's new headquarters in Lake Elmo.

This week, Minnesota’s economy and job market just got even better. Trucking and shipping company Valley Cartage completed a move from Hudson, Wisconsin to Minnesota – the result of a $940,000 economic development package from the state of Minnesota. Valley Cartage’s new headquarters occupies a 26,000 square-foot building located in the Eagle Point Business Park in Lake Elmo.

The move isn’t just good for Valley Cartage; it’s also good for Minnesotans. The move means an estimated 50 new jobs in Minnesota—paying an average salary of $52,000—with an anticipated $30 million economic impact for the state!

Valley Cartage received $500,000 from the Minnesota Investment Fund and $400,000 from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED) Job Skills Partnership Program. To celebrate Valley Cartage’s move DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben will attend the ribbon cutting ceremony at the company’s new headquarters today.

To make the move a reality, DEED, Washington County, and the city Lake Elmo offered Valley Cartage support to help them cross the river. To help Valley Cartage bring new, good-paying jobs to Minnesota, they received an economic development package comprised of tax abatement, a forgivable loan, job training funds and energy credits.

Governor Mark Dayton and the DFL legislature are committed to creating new jobs for Minnesotans. This year, they provided $8.4 million for the Job Skills Partnership – ensuring this program can help businesses expand and hire Minnesotans.


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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.

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Vets Networking Group Provides Tremendous Boost

Posted on July 08, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Jobs, Veterans

Denny Christiansen
Denny Christiansen, a veteran of the U.S. Army
This post originally appeared on the Minnesota Department of Economic Development DEED Developments Blog on July 8, 2013.     

Dennis “Denny” Christiansen, a veteran of the U.S. Army, needed help finding work, so he turned to the Minnesota WorkForce Center in Brooklyn Park to learn job search skills.  And it paid off. In June, he began a new job as a mental health practitioner at Nystrom & Associates in New Brighton.  Christiansen found out about the job opening through a connection with veterans employment services reps at the WorkForce Center.

Christiansen has extensive experience in the human services field, and had been an enlisted assistant to the drug abuse officer for the 1st Armored Division in Germany. But all that wasn’t enough to land him a good job. That’s why he began regularly attending a veterans networking group meeting held weekly.

“I can’t recommend it enough,” he says. “Being with other veterans gave me a tremendous boost.”

One area that Christiansen focused on was interviewing.  He hadn’t been on a job interview for a long time and needed to brush up on techniques, especially how to answer behavioral questions, according to vets rep. Mark Mann.  Christiansen received coaching on answering interview questions and had mock interviews.



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Minnesota Businesses Looking to the Future

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 3:19 PM
Categories: Economy, Jobs, Commerce

During the past year, Minnesota’s economy has largely outperformed most of the United States. A recent survey finds Minnesota firms that provide business services are even more optimistic about next year.

The survey is just another indication that Minnesota employers believe our economy is headed in the right direction. Increased business confidence means new hiring and more investments – fueling further economic growth. In the future, Minnesotans can expect new and better job opportunities.

Here are some key findings from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve and Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development survey:
  • 77 percent of Minnesota firms anticipate their sales revenue to grow or remain stable in the coming year.
  • 75 percent of business services firms expect their profits to increase or remain stable in the next four quarters, compared with 62 percent last year.
  • 53 percent of firms plan to increase the wages of employees during the next four quarters.
  • 50 percent said their costs remained steady during the past year.
  • 44 percent of firms expect employment to increase during the next year compared with only 36 percent last year. 

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Minnesota’s Economy Takes Flight

Posted on June 26, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Categories: Jobs

Minnesota’s economy soared to new heights today. Endeavor Air (formerly Pinnacle Airlines) held a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the company’s move to Minnesota. Endeavor Air’s move is expected to create at least 200 new jobs in our state during the next two years. 

Currently, Endeavor Air employs about 1,100 in Minnesota, including pilots, flight attendants, and aircraft maintenance workers. The airline has a significant presence outside of Minnesota as well, operating 189 regional jets on 1,000 daily flights to 124 cities in the United States and Canada. The company also may move additional aircraft maintenance positions to Minnesota in the future.

Working the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Endeavor found a great new headquarters located in a previously vacant site at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. The location will house both the airline’s corporate offices and flight operations center, which handles aircraft and crew scheduling. 

Endeavor Air recognized that Minnesota’s highly skilled workforce and welcoming communities make our state a great place to do business. DEED also provided Endeavor Air a $550,000 forgivable loan from the Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) to help them make the move north from its previous headquarters in Memphis, TN.

The success of the MIF initiative in bringing Endeavor Air to Minnesota demonstrates the program’s importance as an economic development and job creation tool for the state. This isn’t the only success for the program either. During the last 8 years, MIF has funded 53 projects, creating thousands of jobs and leveraging $587 million in private economic development. In 2012, MIF helped Gerdau Long Steel in St. Paul, Stream Global Services in Eagan, and AAR Aircraft Services in Duluth expand and create new jobs across Minnesota. 

This year, Governor Dayton and the Legislature invested an additional $30 million in the MIF initiative. This new investment is expected to attract $800 million in private business investment creating thousands of new jobs across Minnesota.

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Investing in Minnesota's Middle Class: Education, Jobs, and Tax Relief

Posted on June 24, 2013 at 1:02 PM
Categories: Jobs, Greater Minnesota, Budget


Governor Dayton Greets Constituent
Governor Dayton Greets Constituent  

Growing the middle class is essential to Minnesota’s economy. This past legislative session, Gov. Mark Dayton delivered on his promise to create a Better Minnesota for the middle class. Working with the DFL legislature, the governor made new high-impact investments in the following areas:
  • Education
  • Jobs and the economy
  • Property tax relief
These investments help Minnesota families with the basic by helping their kids get a world-class education, helping parents find good paying jobs and by providing needed property tax reductions.

Education
Every child deserves top quality education that’s why, from early childhood programs to high schools, Minnesota schools will receive a $485 million funding increase during the next two years. This means more funding for every learner in every school – including $134 million to ensure that all Minnesota children have access free all-day kindergarten. It also includes $40 million in scholarships to help 8,000 more children attend high quality childcare and preschool, ensuring they are prepared for kindergarten and beyond!

Higher Education
More and more jobs require education beyond high school. During the next two years, Minnesotans will reap the benefits of a $250 million investment in higher education. This includes $46 million in financial aid for students and a tuition freeze to curb costs at all public colleges and universities in Minnesota. 

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