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      Governor Dayton: Working for Minnesota Jobs in Willmar

      Posted on October 01, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      Governor Dayton on the MinnWest Technology Campus

      A MinnWest employee shows off innovations to Governor Mark Dayton and Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson

      Governor Mark Dayton kicked off his statewide jobs tour on Friday in Willmar, meeting with a dozen local leaders in business, government, and higher education to discuss opportunities and barriers for the state’s economic growth. The tour will continue over the next several months as Dayton meets with leaders in other Minnesota communities to solicit direct input.

      Dayton began the tour in the midst of Minnesota’s recovery from one of the worst recessions in the nation’s history. The governor will use his listening tour to gather ideas on what should be done in the next legislative session to position the state for economic growth and job creation in the recession’s aftermath.

      The public meeting in Willmar was held at the MinnWest Technology Campus, where businesses are working to develop new bioscience and agricultural technology with significant implications for export growth – and new jobs. The state’s agriculture and food production industry is already responsible for 4,800 jobs and $250 million in annual wages.

      “[Willmar is] in the heart of our state and with this agriculture technology, it’s going to benefit farmers all over the state,” Dayton said.

      At the meeting, Dayton and business leaders agreed on the necessity for better transportation lines to the Twin Cities. As the tour continues, the governor will focus on eight key sectors of the state economy: bioscience, forestry, mining, agriculture technology, healthcare, information technology, the plastics and composites industry, and tourism. These sectors, collectively responsible for 395,000 Minnesota jobs and $40 billion in economic activity, are crucial to the state’s economic present and future.