Two weeks upon returning from a trade mission to China, Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon is still feeling good about the progress made, the discussions had, and the relationships built during the weeklong trip that took place in October.
In a discussion with Politics in Minnesota published yesterday, the Lieutenant Governor shared her thoughts on important outcomes that came out of the China visit.
Last week, Governor Dayton concluded his economic development tour with a statewide Jobs Summit. The event was a huge success and hosted more than 800 business, academic and government leaders. During the day, discussions were held on the role of government in job creation, access to capital for small businesses and how we can continue to improve and align our state’s workforce. Governor Dayton has developed a list of next steps we need to take to approach job creation moving forward. Those steps are:
Improve access to capital for small businesses, and expanding medium sized businesses
Align our educational system – particularly higher education, technical training, and workforce retaining for displaced workers – with the jobs available now and most likely available in the future
Continue streamlining the permitting process and reducing permitting timetables
Improve both physical and communications infrastructure by increasing our investment in highways, bridge repairs and improvements, and achieving the goal of creating border to border broadband and cell phone access for all Minnesotans regardless of where they live
Continue reform efforts under Better Government for Better Minnesota, bringing better state services to Minnesotans at a lower cost
Increase exports as well as reverse investment by encouraging foreign companies to make investments here in Minnesota and expanding opportunities for Minnesota companies to export goods and services
Close achievement and employment gaps among both minority groups and non-minority groups in Minnesota
Approximately $100 million to $200 million will be deposited in Minnesota's community banks for lending to their customers - principally small businesses throughout the state.
The announcement comes on the heels of the Governor's Jobs Summit, where over 800 business, government and academic leaders came together to discuss how to create jobs and build a better Minnesota.
“Entrepreneurs need to know that we are going to work aggressively to give them the tools they need to create jobs,” Dayton said, according to the Star Tribune . “Today, I am taking action to spur investment in the small businesses that fuel Minnesota’s economy.”
Check out other coverage of the announcement below:
The Governor’s Job Summit came to a close with short takeaways given by the moderators of each of the day’s 15 breakout sessions and closing remarks by Governor Dayton.
In his closing remarks, Governor Dayton thanked the participants for coming together in shared purpose to get Minnesota back to work, but also reminded them that the work is only just beginning, and that the progress they’ve made in one day needs to sustain itself and continue in the coming months and years.
Following two speeches and time for lunch, the Governor’s Job Summit continued on with a series of seven afternoon breakout sessions. As with the morning sessions, the afternoon sessions focused on vital economic issues.
Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon led a panel on infrastructure for the 21st century, where panelists talked about the need for expanded broadband access and continued investment in transportation infrastructure. Panelists and attendees agreed technology is key to make sure our state stays ahead of the curve and is equipped to handle all of its infrastructure projects more efficiently and intelligently.
The Governor’s Job Summit today also included Innovation Hall, which housed a series of booths that featured unique products, machines and technologies that showcased the inventiveness and creativity in Minnesota.
Walking through the Hall, experts, researchers and company leaders were on hand to describe and explain the exciting innovations on hand.
University of Minnesota researchers demonstrated how localized blasts of radiation via ultrasound would soon be able to treat tumors, cancerous tissue and more diseases in a completely noninvasive way.
University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler gave the first in a pair of speeches during the lunch period at the Governor’s Job Summit today. In his speech, Kaler focused on the importance of public higher education to economic outcomes in the state.
“We all know job creation starts with an innovation or discovery, and the seeds grow,” Kaler explained. “Innovation and discovery is our business at the University of Minnesota.”
Kaler’s speech focused on demonstrating the vast impact the University of Minnesota has had on the Minnesota economy because of that innovation and discovery. That impact was closely felt. Immediately outside the doors of the hall in which Kaler spoke, in the Job Summit’s adjacent Innovation Hall, 10 of the 13 companies exhibiting had some relation to the University, whether through University of Minnesota grants, commercialized technologies borne out of University of Minnesota research, or startup ventures spearheaded by the University’s graduates.
With morning breakout sessions behind them, attendees of today’s Job Summit had a lot to think about headed into the lunch hour. Eight different sessions inspired spirited and meaningful conversations about various topics that will play an important role in shaping Minnesota’s future.
In one breakout session, Commissioner Lucinda Jenson of the Minnesota Department of Human Services led a discussion on better healthcare at lower costs, where panelists and attendees both shared their thoughts on the impact of the changes coming to Minnesota as part of the Federal Affordable Care Act, such as statewide healthcare exchanges, and what other efforts will be needed to make healthcare more affordable for businesses, and more accessible for individuals.
Following the Governor’s opening remarks this morning, the Job Summit started in earnest. An executive panel of leaders from Minnesota companies big and small kicked off the event with a discussion about job creation in today’s global economy.
Panel members included Bill George, professor of management practice at Harvard Business School and former Chairman and CEO of Medtronic, Judy Poferl, president and CEO of Northern States Power Company, Neil Crocker, president of Schaefer Ventilation Equipment, and Susan Rani, principal at Rani Engineering.
The panel was moderated by Kathy Tunheim, Governor Dayton’s senior adviser for job creation.