Governor Dayton

Pioneer Press - Aiding Vets in Their Job Hunts Gaining Steam in Minnesota

Chan Phouapradit, a disabled Marine Corps veteran from Andover, used his GI Bill benefits to earn a mechanical engineering degree from the University of St. Thomas in December.

But when he hit the streets looking for work the following month, Phouapradit quickly realized he needed a hand.

"I didn't interview well. I needed help with talking to people," he said last week.

So he went to a state WorkForce Center and connected with a team of three veteran employment representatives. In daily meetings, they coached him on interview skills, helped him polish his resume and lined up numerous job interviews.

After five months of searching, he landed a well-paying job with a manufacturer in Waconia.

"If it hadn't been for those guys at the WorkForce Center, I wouldn't have gotten this job," he said. "There were times that I was discouraged, but they kept me positive."

Phouapradit is a success story for an extensive coalition of state and federal agencies, businesses, veterans' organizations and educational institutions collaborating to find jobs for Minnesota's unemployed veterans. [Read More]

Star Tribune - U.S. Education Chief Coming to Bloomington

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be in Bloomington and Minneapolis on Tuesday to discuss President Obama’s proposal to expand funding for early learning programs.

First, Duncan will tour a classroom at Pond Early Childhood Center in Bloomington at 9 a.m. At 9:30 a.m., he will participate in a town hall discussion at Kennedy High School with Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius and other leaders. Duncan will be making remarks at the National Network of State Teachers of the Year conference at the Millennium Hotel in Minneapolis at noon.

Duncan’s visit is part of a series of events aimed at bolstering support for the president’s plan to increase federal funding for early education. Under the proposal, Minnesota would receive more than $38 million in the first year it participates in the “Preschool for All” program. This year, state legislators approved $40 million for early learning scholarships. [Read More]

Pioneer Press - Minnesota Small-Business Centers Claim Success for 1,400 Jobs in 2012

Minnesota's Small Business Development Centers created 1,404 new jobs in 2012 at a cost of $2,332 per job, according to a report published in June by the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The SBDCs provide small business owners -- more than 1,000 in 2012 -- with technical assistance, training and access to loans.

"Small businesses, which account for half of our private sector jobs in Minnesota, help drive the state's economy," DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said in a statement. "For entrepreneurs hoping to start and grow a small business, the SBDCs are a great resource in today's competitive and ever-changing business world." [Read More]

July 15, 2013  |  News Alerts

Saint Cloud Times - Our View: Do More to Help Lower Jobless Rate of Veterans

Minnesota’s overall economy showed another burst of good news in May, with employers adding 8,400 jobs statewide and keeping the state’s jobless rate at 5.3 percent. The national rate is 7.6 percent.

However, there remains one key Minnesota demographic for whom jobless rates continue to exceed the national average — post-9/11 veterans. Heading into 2013, these Minnesota heroes faced a 14.1 percent unemployment rate, well above the 2012 national average of 9.9 percent and dwarfing Minnesota’s overall annual rate of 5.5 percent.

That’s why it’s good to see Gov. Mark Dayton declare July as “Hire a Veteran Month” and supplant that declaration with reminders and resources to connect these Minnesotans with potential employers.

In fact, that rate caught the attention of elected and professional state leaders, who have worked on a series of efforts to reduce it. Those included sending DEED staff to places such as Kuwait to help Minnesota soldiers whose deployments were ending prepare for job searches upon reintegration. Lawmakers also adopted measures encouraging businesses to hire veterans. [Read More]

Service Dog

KSTP - New Legislation will Protect Those who Rely on Service Animals

This August, new legislation will protect Minnesotans who rely on service animals for support. The bill, passed unanimously and signed by Governor Mark Dayton this session, means businesses cannot ask for proof that a dog is a service dog.

On a special visit together, Judy Mielke and her retired service dog, Ben, are inseparable. "He helped me with more than just the physical, physical like helping me pick up things or guide me. He helps to keep me calm in stressful situations too," Mielke said.

This year, Minnesota is taking its human rights act a step further by deleting a portion that allowed business owners to demand evidence that a service animal is properly trained. The section violates the federal Americans with disabilities act.

"As a practical matter, some people will challenge somebody using a guide dog and ask for proof that it's a guide dog," said Chris Bell, a retired lawyer and disability rights advocate. [Read More]

ABC Newspapers - Job Training Funding to Focus on Sheet Metal Workers

The Anoka County Job Training Center has been awarded a $154,000 grant by the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Board. The two-year grant from July 1 through June 30, 2015 is for a low-income worker training program focused on precision sheet metal workers.

“It will give people at the entry level phase training in high need employment areas.”

Once the funds are released by the state, job training center staff will work with the technical college to finalize a work plan and begin outreach and recruitment of potential trainees, Froiland wrote in a report to the human services committee.

“The customized program will serve 40 low-income adults over the two-year grant period,” she wrote. The grant dollars will cover training costs for low-income people at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

“The intent is for low-skilled adults to acquire additional skills in order to move up the career ladder into better paying jobs,” according to Froiland. “The manufacturing industry within Anoka County and the region continues to be a leader in the recovery of jobs since the recession,” Froiland wrote. “As a result, employers are indicating there is a need for skilled workers in the industry.”

The job training center provides employment and training services to the residents of Anoka County who are most in need of services with the highest priority those who are unemployed, economically disadvantaged, and/or face multiple obstacles to gaining employment. [Read More] Bookmark and Share

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