As vice chair of the Greater Minnesota Workplace and Economic Development I had the opportunity to take part in a tour of Southern Minnesota businesses yesterday. It was a great opportunity to visit with business owners and employees to get a sense of what challenges they are facing and what we can do to help create a business environment that is conducive for growth and prosperity.
Our first stop of the day was in Rochester at a Workforce Development Center located on the campus of the Rochester Community and Technical College. At this stop we heard presentations from three different groups looking to prepare and assist businesses and individuals for employment across a wide variety of sectors.
After Rochester, we spent time at a family owned food manufacturing business in Albert Lea. At this stop we heard from employees and managers about the manufacturing process and how technology is incorporated into their production.
We finished the day in Faribault touring two different tool and equipment manufacturers.
Workforce training was a common topic of conversation throughout the day as we met with employers. It is my hope that high schools around the state will be willing and able to offer additional vocational classes to students. There are jobs available and employers are looking for skilled workers to fill these openings.
In addition to discussing workforce training, we also heard from many employers of the difficult business climate here in Minnesota—with taxes and regulations being the biggest culprit. I remain committed to finding ways to ease the regulatory and tax burden not only on Minnesotans but on Minnesota’s businesses.
There is a lot of work to be done on this front, and I look forward to continuing this important work in the coming session.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you ever have questions relating to state government or a state agency. It is an honor to represent you and our communities in St. Paul.