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
Left to right: Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead; Jeff Appelquist, author of Toro's recently released centennial book; Governor Mark Dayton (Minnesota); and Michael J. Hoffman, Toro's chairman and CEO (Photo: The Toro Company)
Governor Dayton traveled to Bloomington to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Toro yesterday. The company, which designs and manufactures lawn care and landscaping equipment, is one of the state’s largest companies – employing about 1,800 in Minnesota.
“Part of the mentality of Toro is reaching out to its customers and to the communities, and developing high-quality products while strengthening your market through innovation,” said Governor Dayton. “I don’t think that the founder could have imagined 100 years ago that Toro would grow to be a Fortune 1000 company, or that more importantly, you’d be a leading corporate citizen in Minnesota. Your contributions to this state have been enormous.
Governor Mark Dayton speaking at the the 2014 Veterans Career Fair.
Today, Governor Dayton traveled to the 2014 Minnesota Veterans Career Fair. At the Brooklyn Park event, the Governor thanked Minnesota employers for their continued commitment to hiring and supporting military veterans. The job fair, hosted by the Department of Employment and Economic Development, is the largest event in Minnesota for veteran job seekers.
“Hiring veterans is one of the best investments a business or organization can make,” said Governor Dayton. “Minnesota veterans have the skills employers are looking for, including leadership, intelligence, dedication, and loyalty. They offer the energy and know-how our economy needs. I thank the 140 employers who are participating in tomorrow’s Career Fair, and offer the state’s continued support to Minnesota’s heroes as they search for good jobs and new careers in our communities.”
Now in its eighth year, the Minnesota Veterans Career Fair has been quite successful in connecting veterans with jobs. Historically, 10 to 15 percent of veterans who have attended have found a received a job offer there.
And to make it easier for Minnesota veterans to pursue job opportunities, Governor Dayton and Hilton Hotels announced a new initiative yesterday to provide free accommodations to veterans. Under the new pilot program, veterans who are searching for employment, attending job interviews or skills training, or are looking for new housing in Minnesota, are eligible for three free nights at a Hilton Hotels location in our state.
According to Hilton Worldwide, the average hotel stay in the Twin Cities metropolitan area costs $200 per night. That means veterans who are eligible for free hotel accommodations can save up to $600 under the new pilot program.
Minnesota veterans seeking job opportunities should visit the Department of Employment and Economic Development website. On the website, veterans can find valuable resources to help them find a job or start a business.
Governor Dayton signs the Women's Economic Security Act, one of several laws now taking effect.
Governor Dayton is committed to improving state government – from investing in education and improving the state's infrastructure to taking steps to ensure high-quality health care. Through the work done in the 2014 legislative session, many great strides were made in keeping this promise. Here are ten of the laws and reforms signed by the Governor that are going into effect today:
New $70 million office tower is largest commercial development in the history of downtown Duluth
ST. PAUL, MN – Today, Governor Mark Dayton, Mayor Don Ness, local officials, and area business leaders broke ground on a new $70 million office tower in downtown Duluth. The project, which will serve as the corporate headquarters for maurices – a Duluth-based international retail company – will create and retain 900 jobs and leverage $50 million in private investment. When complete, the 11-story office tower will house hundreds of maurices employees and represent the largest commercial development project in the history of downtown Duluth.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for maurices, and a monumental investment in downtown Duluth,” said Governor Dayton. “I thank maurices for its continued commitment to Minnesota, and for the many hundreds of jobs this project will create and support in the coming years.”
Founded in 1931 as a small retail store in Duluth, maurices has grown into an international business operating over 900 stores across the United States and Canada. Over the last five years, maurices has grown significantly, opening more than 250 stores and increasing its sales by 65 percent. Between its Duluth headquarters and 45 store locations across Minnesota, maurices employs over 1,200 Minnesotans with a statewide annual payroll of $30 million.
As the company continues growing, maurices needed additional space to accommodate up to 600 associates. Right now, maurices employs 425 associates spread among three different office buildings in downtown Duluth. When completed in 2016, the new corporate headquarters will consolidate those employees into one space, and provide room for the company to keep growing.
Project Received $8.5 Million in State Funding
In 2012, the project received $8.5 million in a competitive economic development grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). These competitive grants were funded by a $500 million Jobs Bill signed into law by Governor Dayton in May of 2012. DEED awarded the grants to economic development projects statewide based on five criteria, including: project readiness, job creation, potential to leverage additional public and private investment, regional impact, and public benefit. The maurices project was among the top three ranked projects out of 37 finalists.