Walz outlines long term economic plan

ST. PAUL — Gov. Tim Walz announced a ten-year economic expansion plan last week at Wyoming Machine in Stacy, Minnesota, following the release of a report by the Governor’s Council on Economic Expansion titled “Minnesota’s Moment: A Roadmap for Economic Expansion.”

The report makes dozens of recommendations that fall within five core “commitments” to economic growth in Minnesota:

1. Commit to people, as Minnesota’s number one strength and the key to a prosperous future.

2. Commit to communities, as the nexus point of growth and opportunity.

3. Commit to businesses, as the engine that will write the next chapter of the global economy.

4. Commit to innovation, as the central dynamic needed to adapt to an ever-changing economic landscape.

5. Commit to infrastructure, as the foundation of all economic progress.

“We challenged a broad network of Minnesota leaders to look toward Minnesota’s future and find opportunities to make Minnesota a global destination to work, live, and own a business,” Walz said. “The result – dozens of bold new ideas – will guide not only our administration, but the state’s work for the decade to come. I’m grateful to our council members for their tireless work to create Minnesota’s roadmap for economic expansion.”

The report details dozens of recommendations, ranging from ways to expand child care to support working families, collaborate with employers and labor organizations to prepare students for their careers, and expand public-private partnerships to provide support for small business owners. The comprehensive report covers recommendations from public safety, to infrastructure, to health care, to reducing barriers to job creation and innovation.

The council is co-chaired by Jeff Ettinger, former Hormel CEO and 1st Congressional District candidate, and Paul Williams, CEO and president of Project for Pride in Living.

The Council had two main goals: First, the Council was asked to propose recommendations on how best to leverage American Rescue Plan funding to advance equitable economic growth. Second, the governor asked for a road map for Minnesota’s economic expansion in the coming decade.

“I am excited for this council to offer recommendations aimed at supporting a brighter, more inclusive economic future for all Minnesotans,” Ettinger said.

“We know the impact of the pandemic has fallen especially hard on communities of color and Minnesotans who face systemic barriers,” Williams said.

The Council heard from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by historic and modern-day inequitable systems and by the pandemic.

“Our economy has faced disruptions these last three years, but Minnesota has a tremendous opportunity to seize this moment to create an economy that works for everyone,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “We appreciate this extraordinary group of leaders for sharing their time and expertise to advise our state, and I’m inspired by the report they’ve put forward today.”

“Workforce shortages and other economic pressures have created significant challenges for the human services system,” said Jodi Harpstead, Department of Human Services commissioner. “The roadmap laid out by the Council will help ensure access to affordable housing, health care, and other critical resources so all Minnesotans can reach their full health potential and participate in economic expansion.”

Living through a global pandemic presented unique challenges for every Minnesotan, said Roslyn Robertson, commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry.

“It was a priority for the council that many voices were heard, and that our economic expansion plans include a continued commitment to keeping our workforce safe and healthy.”


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