Finance & Commerce | August 1, 2014
July marked the big 2-0 for Minnesota – as in the 20th straight month supply managers in the state predicted an expanding economy.
All other components of Minnesota’s index showed growth, as well:
• Inventories were at 57.1, compared with 56 in July 2013.
• Production or sales were at 77.9, up from 54.6 a year earlier.
• New orders were at 77.5, up from 50.9 a year ago.
• Delivery lead time was at 61.0, a climb from 55.7 in July 2013.
• Employment was 58.4, up from 52.8 a year ago.
The report credited durable goods manufacturers such as metal producers for much of the growth. Metal producers are benefitting from growth in other industries, said Kirby Sneen, vice president of the Manufacturers Alliance. Whatever industry happens to be booming, metal production usually has a role to play, and Minnesota manufacturers have become adept at diversifying so they don’t become chained to the fortunes of a single industry. [Read More]
Star Tribune | August 2, 2014
A couple of years ago, Tonesia Williams was collecting unemployment. Esmeralda Reyes was making little more than minimum wage cleaning hotel rooms. Neither woman had a high school diploma. What they had was resolve to make better lives for themselves and their kids. What they needed was an opportunity. Minnesota’s FastTRAC program, which offers education, vocational training and job placement to unemployed and underemployed adults, gave it to them.
Today, Williams and Reyes both have graduate equivalent degrees (GEDs). They both work as certified nursing assistants. They both attend college classes. And they are both on track to become licensed practical nurses. Their progress and the progress of other FastTRAC participants recently led the White House to praise the program and another Minnesota employment initiative as national models for adult job training.
Gov. Mark Dayton pushed to add $3 million to the FastTRAC program in a jobs bill he signed in 2013. Before that, the program, which started in 2010, operated on roughly $2.75 million in public funds, mostly from the federal government, and $800,000 in donations from the United Way. [Read More]
Pioneer Press | August 1, 2014
Polaris Industries is planning a $20 million expansion in Plymouth that the company says will create 100 new jobs.
The Medina-based all-terrain vehicle, motorcycle and snowmobile manufacturer says it will buy and renovate an existing 120,000-square-foot facility to house its sales, marketing and financial services operations.
About 400 employees are expected to work in the building, some of whom will be relocated from other Polaris facilities. Polaris employs more than 5,000 people nationwide.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has offered the company $800,000 from the Minnesota Job Creation Fund to help finance in the expansion. The money will be awarded once the expansion is completed and the company meets its hiring goals.
"Minnesota has been home to Polaris for nearly 60 years," Gov. Mark Dayton said in a news release. "During that time, the company's continued expansion has created thousands of new jobs for hard-working Minnesotans." [Read More]
Fargo-Moorhead Forum | August 2, 2014
Gov. Mark Dayton and his administration will “do everything to ensure that Minnesota’s best interests are not trampled” by the proposed diversion project to protect Fargo-Moorhead from severe floods, a spokesman said.
Dayton stands squarely behind the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, which recently sought to join a lawsuit by upstream opponents of the $1.8 billion project.
Minnesota’s action was taken after the Diversion Authority began building a ring dike this spring to protect the communities of Oxbow, Hickson and Bakke subdivision, all on the North Dakota side of the Red River. The communities would otherwise be flooded when the diversion is used during floods.
Minnesota’s Wilkin County and North Dakota’s Richland County have joined together in a federal lawsuit to oppose a feature of the diversion project called upstream storage, which would temporarily hold water over an area of 32,500 acres when the river is 35 feet or higher. [Read More]