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      Governor Dayton talks jobs at St Cloud economic summit

      Posted on October 19, 2011 at 11:33 AM

      Yesterday, Governor Dayton heard the concerns of local St. Cloud business executives during a regional economic-development summit at St. Cloud Technical and Community College.

      The St. Cloud Times reports that Governor Dayton spoke on the need to "expand businesses' access to capital, and to better align the state's job-training programs with professions that have a surplus of job openings."

      The summit was aimed at gathering the best ideas on job creation from Minnesotans and to highlight Minnesota's strong business climate and economic development opportunities. The Governor is holding statewide jobs summit on October 25, 2011.

      Check out part of the St. Cloud Times article below:

      Energy costs, a lack of commercial air service and a shortage of qualified workers are hampering job growth in Central Minnesota, local business executives told Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday morning.

      The comments came during a regional economic-development summit Dayton scheduled at St. Cloud Technical and Community College. It was one of a series of summits Dayton has conducted across the state this month to gather ideas on job creation from local leaders and entrepreneurs.

      ...

      After the summit, Dayton told reporters his statewide tour has highlighted several economic issues he hopes to incorporate into his legislative agenda for 2012. That includes the need to expand businesses' access to capital, and to better align the state's job-training programs with professions that have a surplus of job openings.

      The latter issue was raised at Tuesday's event by Mark Eriksson, president of Talon Innovations in Sauk Rapids.

      Eriksson told Dayton that Talon often struggles to fill job openings for machinists, engineers and other technicians because the company can't find qualified candidates.

      Dayton also heard about economic concerns specific to Central Minnesota.

      Bob White, board chair of St. Cloud-based Microbiologics, urged Dayton to act aggressively to help secure air service at St. Cloud Regional Airport. Delta Air Lines discontinued service to the airport at the end of 2009.

      "Air service is the one thing that we can do that will change our community," White said. "We will become a destination."

      Dayton's string of regional economic development summits is slated to end next week with a statewide jobs summit in St. Paul.