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      This Week: Real Progress Towards Jobs

      Posted on March 04, 2012 at 8:00 AM

      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. 

      Thursday also brought two other big pieces of news for job creation.  The first, was an announced agreement between the Governor, the City of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Vikings on the framework of a new stadium for the team.  The new stadium would put up to 13,000 Minnesotans to work, many in the construction industries which have faced particularly high unemployment in recent years. 

      The other big news on Thursday was the passage of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to authorize the construction of a new Stillwater Bridge.  The Governor has been a strong proponent of the project, and Department of Transportation Commissioner Sorel also worked tirelessly to see it come to fruition.  The construction of a new bridge will put thousands more back to work building a valuable asset for the region’s economy in the long run. 

      The dedication to job creation demonstrated by the Governor and his administration is evident in all that they do.  This week featured many particularly good examples of that dedication and we made real progress towards getting Minnesota working again.