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Minnesota Moving Forward into 2040

Posted on July 10, 2012 at 1:06 PM
Categories: Jobs, Economy, Greater Minnesota

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The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area is going to grow a lot in the next few decades, and Governor Dayton is proud to be leading Minnesota into a new era of increased output, population, and diversity.

According to demographic changes projected by the Metropolitan Council, the Twin Cities metro area will see substantial growth in overall population, population diversity, economic output and jobs  over the coming three decades.

The Council projects that by 2040, the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area will grow by 893,000 people, to a total of 3,743,000, and that 43% of the metro population will be people of color (up from 24% in 2010). This is a slower growth rate per decade – at roughly 9 or 10 percent – than the 15 percent the metro area witnessed in the 1980s and 90s.


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Reversed cuts a victory for Minnesota’s disabled

Posted on June 21, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Health, Reform, Jobs, Human Rights

In a recent editorial for Access Press, a Minnesota disability news outlet, Steve Larson, senior public policy director for The Arc Minnesota commended state leaders for their work to reverse a number of funding cuts to Minnesota Health and Human Services (HHS).

These reversals delayed cuts to the wages of personal care attendants and disability service providers until the next legislative session and reduced the cut to community services for 2,600 Minnesotans with disabilities by half. ” Disability advocates will need to fight again next session to make these reversals permanent,” says Larson.

The issues of funding to key Health and Human Services sectors were first highlighted by Governor Dayton in his 2012-2013 supplemental budget proposal, and were ultimately addressed with his signing of the HHS omnibus budget bill, a bipartisan effort which restored roughly $18 million in funding lost during the 2011 budget compromise. This new spending was offset by savings to the state from a 1 percent cap on health plan profits negotiated by the Dayton Administration which resulted in the return of $73 million to state and federal taxpayers .


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Addressing Higher Education Costs Through Reform

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Categories: Education, Reform, Jobs

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As part of Governor Mark Dayton’s Better Government for a Better Minnesota reform initiative, state government officials are turning their attention to the rising costs of higher education.

Last week, Governor Dayton, Senator Franken, and Office of Higher Education Director Larry Pogemiller met with students from around the state to discuss the challenges they face, including higher tuition costs and crippling student debt.  At the same time, state higher education funding per student has fallen by 48% since 2000.  Colleges are trying to educate students with far fewer resources, and many of the costs are now falling to students themselves. These obstacles are limiting Minnesota students’ educational opportunities and are making it more difficult for them to gain the education they need to succeed in the workforce.

After Monday’s meeting in Minneapolis, OHE Director Pogemiller toured the state to get feedback from other colleges.  He traveled to Austin and Winona last week to discuss the rising costs of college for students. He stressed the need for the state to return higher education funding to historical levels to help students manage their costs.  The Office of Higher Education already works to provide tips to current and prospective students on how they can lower the costs of a college education, and the department strives to improve the resources they offer.


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Report Shows Three Straight Months of Job Creation in Minnesota

Posted on March 22, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Categories: Jobs, Economy, Reform

A new report issued by the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) showed that Minnesota employers added 6,200 jobs to the state economy in February, marking three consecutive months of job growth in Minnesota. This is an important milestone in Minnesota’s economic recovery. The state has already regained half the jobs it lost during the recession.

Education and Health Services was the leading sector in job creation, adding 5,100 jobs last month. Other areas posting strong job growth include the Government and Leisure and Hospitality sectors.   "The labor market recovery appears to be gaining steam, with three consecutive months of strong job growth," said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips. "The state has now recovered 81,400 jobs since the recession."


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The New Jobs Tax Credit: Putting Minnesota Back to Work

Posted on March 08, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Jobs, Veterans, Education

Governor Mark Dayton’s New Jobs New Jobs Tax Credit is focused on immediate job creation. It would provide businesses with a $3,000 tax credit for each unemployed Minnesotan, Veteran or recent graduate hired in calendar year 2012 and a $1,500 credit for each new hire through June 2013. This $35 million initiative would create over 10,000 new, private-sector jobs each year.

As Minnesota emerges from a deep recession, the focus of the legislature needs to remain on job creation.  Today, 55,000 more people are employed than at the height of the recession, but many more remain jobless.  The New Jobs Tax Credit is designed to give local businesses an incentive to hire unemployed Minnesotans, especially those who were hardest hit by the recession, Minnesota veterans and recent college graduates.

Minnesota National Guard’s Adjutant General, Richard Nash, recently reported that of the over 3,000 Minnesota Guardsmen and women presently serving in Kuwait, 22% of them will be unemployed, when they return home. The New Jobs Tax Credit will ensure that we reverse this shameful fact and make sure all of Minnesota’s veterans return to jobs in their hometowns across the state of Minnesota.


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This Week: Real Progress Towards Jobs

Posted on March 04, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Jobs, Economy, Transportation

This week, we saw the real results that can be achieved by a Governor who has an unwavering commitment to putting Minnesotans back to work.  This week was full of encouraging developments for Minnesotans who are looking for work, in large part to the efforts of Governor Dayton and his administration. 

On Tuesday, we found out that there are nearly 50,000 vacant jobs in our state, an increase of almost 50% from this time last year.  While there is still work to be done to ensure that our workforce has the skills they need to fill those jobs, the most recent job vacancy survey released by DEED this week is reason to be hopeful. 

On Wednesday and Thursday, the legislature finally held hearings on the Governor’s jobs proposals.  His tax credit for hiring unemployed Minnesotans, veterans and recent graduates would put up to 10,000 people back to work by providing tax incentives to businesses.  The Governor’s proposed expansion of FastTRAC was also heard.  Expanding FastTRAC statewide will be crucial in ensuring that our state’s workers have the skills they need to fill the jobs that are available now and in the future. 


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State Job Vacancies Up 47.6 Percent in Fourth Quarter

Posted on February 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM
Categories: Jobs, Economy

ST. PAUL – Job vacancies in Minnesota climbed 47.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with the same period a year earlier, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Employers reported 49,900 openings during the quarter, compared with 33,800 openings one year earlier.

The agency’s Job Vacancy Survey – conducted twice annually in the second and fourth quarters – also found that the state had 3.2 unemployed people for each vacancy during the quarter, compared with 5.8 unemployed people for each vacancy one year earlier.

“These figures add to the mounting evidence of an improving job market in Minnesota,” said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips. “While the labor market is still tight for workers in certain sectors, overall openings statewide have nearly doubled since 2009.”


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Commissioner Rothman encourages military families to defend their financial futures

Posted on February 27, 2012 at 10:43 AM
Categories: Veterans, Military Servicemembers, Jobs

This week, America celebrated Military Saves Week – a week-long campaign focused on encouraging the men and women of our armed forces to learn more about their finances, take full advantage of military benefits, and avoid financial fraud that targets military servicemembers.

In recognition of Military Saves Week, the Minnesota Department of Commerce launched a new section of our website dedicated exclusively to providing financial tips and tools for military servicemembers, veterans, and their families. Knowledge is power, and oftentimes information is the best defense for the financial wellbeing of any family – including military families.

At the Department of Commerce, we know the stresses of deployment can have a significant impact on the budgets of military personnel and their families. With a long list of uncertainties to navigate, it is essential for military servicemembers to utilize all available resources to make informed financial decisions before, and after deployment. That’s what this effort is all about.


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Poised for Success: Antoinette McCarthy

Posted on February 16, 2012 at 5:30 PM
Categories: Jobs, Education

“We need FastTRAC on every campus in Minnesota. We need state and federal job training and workforce development monies to be better coordinated with higher education funding and programs, so that all of our students come out of our educational systems, skilled and ready to succeed. The success of our state depends upon it.”

- Governor Mark Dayton

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In his annual State of the State address to the Minnesota Legislature, Governor Mark Dayton pointed to the success of Antoinette McCarthy, a 27-year-old mother of three who was formerly on the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) as she struggled to find a career in today’s competitive job market.  Her successful completion of a new career training program, being shaped with the help of the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), was cited by Dayton in his Feb. 15 address as he urged legislators to expand the program, called FastTRAC.
 
“Antoinette McCarthy is another wonderful success story,” said Dayton. She struggled to find a decent-paying job and a career with a future. Now, Antoinette is poised for success. She just completed a FastTRAC program at Inver Hills Community College, receiving her Certificate as a Nursing Assistant. Her hard work for that certificate means she will earn, on average, nearly double what someone would at a minimum-wage medical job. We need FastTRAC on every campus in Minnesota. We need state and federal job training and workforce development monies to be better coordinated with higher education funding and programs, so that all of our students come out of our educational systems, skilled and ready to succeed. The success of our state depends upon it.” 
 
FastTRAC, is a career training initiative that now has hundreds of  students enrolled in one of 34 different training paths to careers that pay a living wage.
 
McCarthy attended a month of full-day sessions at Inver Hills Community College, one of 20 campuses in Minnesota with a FastTRAC program. The first half of the day focused on the academic work that prepared her for the state CNA exam. The second part of the day was hands-on work in a nursing lab, handling real medical equipment and modeling situations that students would be faced with in a nursing job every day.
 
FastTrac provides training and education for an array of Minnesota industries -- health care, manufacturing, education, business, energy and culinary – and is intended to help close a serious skills gap in Minnesota’s workforce by focusing on re-engaging adults who need foundational and occupational skill training. Economists estimate that in seven years, 70 percent of Minnesota jobs will require a college credential. Right now, 40 percent of the state’s adults have that level of education.
 
The program is a multi-agency partnership, guided by experts from DHS, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Minnesota Department of Education, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the Greater Twin Cities United Way and others. 


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Governor Dayton’s State of the State Address

Posted on February 16, 2012 at 3:40 PM
Categories: Jobs, Economy, Education, Bonding

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“I am hopeful, because I believe in Minnesota. I believe in Minnesotans.”

Governor Mark Dayton – February 15, 2012


Last night, Governor Mark Dayton delivered his State of the State address to a joint session of the Minnesota Legislature at the Minnesota State Capitol. By stressing the need to make key investments to get Minnesota working again, Governor Dayton outlined a clear vision for future prosperity in Minnesota: investing in jobs, investing in stronger education, and reform of government services.

The Governor called on business leaders and legislators to work with him to invest in more jobs in Minnesota. “They must be our No. 1 priority. So I say to legislators, let’s take your best ideas and my best ideas and turn them into jobs, and let’s do it now.” He urged the legislature to pass a combination of his bonding proposals, “Jobs Now” tax credits, and the Vikings stadium to put tens of thousands of Minnesotans back to work.

The Governor also stressed the reforms that have been made in education over the last year.  In 2011, the Governor expanded Early Childhood Education, a step which helped to win Minnesota a federal Race to the top award. This year, Minnesota was one of only 10 states to earn a waiver from the failed No Child Left Behind law. The Governor acknowledged these successes and then challenged legislators to develop education initiatives in cooperation with educators. He challenged educators to prepare their students for jobs of the future.


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