Governor Tim Walz, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, and Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove today met with business leaders in Owatonna today to discuss ways to expand the economy by addressing staffing shortages and ensuring Minnesotans can get connected to job and skills training opportunities.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has developed a Jobs Skills Partnership program to work with businesses, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations to train or retrain workers, expand work opportunities and keep high-quality jobs in the state. Workforce Development Inc., recently opened a new location in Owatonna to help people looking for work get prepared for and connected with jobs in the Owatonna area.

 

Minnesota’s unemployment rate reached 1.8 percent, just half the size of the nation’s unemployment rate. Minnesota has created over 91,000 jobs in the past year. Over the past six months, Minnesota has seen a greater job growth rate compared to the nation as a whole, at 1.6 percent.

 

Attendees included Owatonna Mayor Tom Kuntz, a representative of the Owatonna School District and engineering and high-tech employers, including Life Fitness, Viracon, the Wenger Corporation, Black Forest, US Bank, State Farm, Workforce Development Inc., and Federated Insurance.