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Workforce and Economic Development

Workforce equity for a competitive economy

To remain regionally and globally competitive, Minnesota's economy must provide greater opportunity for our entire workforce--one that is growing older and much more diverse--to prepare for the increasingly skilled jobs employers need to fill.  Workforce Equity for a Competitive Economy is aimed at improving outcomes at the junction of these inseperable imperatives: economic growth, workforce development, and equity. Read More


Economic development priorities for the downturn

In a recession, the economic development focus in Minnesota for the most part shifts away from expansion to retention and survival. The question for state government in the here-and-now is how best to help businesses and workers adjust and weather the storm. Needless to say, Minnesota must continue its commitment to smart, long-term economic development approaches. But during an economic downturn, constructive economic development strategies include business assistance programs, help for workers who lose their jobs, encouragement for entrepreneurs, and good use of the federal stimulus funding. Read More

Smart approaches to long-term economic development for Minnesota

The State of Minnesota needs to take smart approaches to economic development as it looks to improve the long-term outlook. State and local economic development efforts work best when they fit the role for government action, and when they build upon regional potentials and strengths to increase economic growth and prosperity.  Read More

Four tests to ensure real economic development impacts

Properly structured, economic development efforts by state and local governments can have a positive – albeit incremental – impact on growth. Real impacts may be hard to separate from the perception of impact. And while the perception of impact is often an adequate measure of success from a political standpoint, the economic framework demands more. Read More

Guiding economic development principles

The smart economic development approaches flow from important, guiding principles for public sector involvement in Minnesota’s economy. Minnesota must formulate and carry out its economic development efforts in ways that make sense for state government and that recognize the dynamics for economic growth. Read More

Why government plays a role in economic development

Minnesota’s economic development and growth rely upon the independent actions of many players, the overwhelming majority of whom operate in the private sector. But public sector decisions and activity significantly influence the economic environment of a region when it comes to education, infrastructure investment and upkeep, taxes and regulations, zoning and land use, and the provision of public services. Governments also take economic development actions to assist industries and workers. There are solid reasons for public sector involvement in economic development, including legitimate concerns about positive and negative spillovers, failures in the information marketplace, existing but underused public infrastructure and private resources, the social impacts of growth and development, and the political impacts of economic stagnation or decline.  Read More

What drives economic development

In order to affect the economy, Minnesota’s economic development efforts must take aim at the drivers of regional economic growth. Ideas and theories about growth provide an important framework for economic development policies, one that should shape strategies for government action. Minnesota’s policymakers and economic development officials can use ideas about what creates growth as a reality check to assess the potential for specific economic development initiatives.  Read More

Workforce equity progress in 2013-2014

Significant progress was achieved in the 2013-2014 Minnesota Legislature on laws and policies aimed at linking more equitable workforce training and development to economic growth and development in the Twin Cities and in Minnesota.  Three key policy objectives were achieved: improving reporting requirements for workforce training outcomes, reducing reliance on racially biased screening tools, and establishing new pathways to educational credentials. Growth & Justice seeks to reframe the approach to workforce development in the Twin Cities region, laying the base for strategic workforce efforts linked to economic development and tied to equity, and access to long-term, sustainable and living wage jobs with career tracks for all workers.  Read More

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