Growing prosperity in greater minnesota

Column: Greater Minnesota strives for economic growth

Below is a guest column written by GMNP Executive Director Dan Dorman. It has been published in several newspapers in Greater Minnesota.

When I took on the role of executive director for the Greater Minnesota Partnership four years ago, it didn’t take long to notice a few patterns when it came to discussing the challenges facing economic development in Greater Minnesota.

Whether our meetings were in Albert Lea or Thief River Falls, business and community leaders pointed to similar obstacles to growth. They talked about the need for world-class broadband to help compete on a global scale, more options for job training so employers can obtain the skilled workers needed to fill open positions, and more workforce housing so employees and their families can live in the community where they work.

As the GMNP prepares for the fifth legislation session since the organization began, we are proud to have made strides in addressing many of those needs. By working together, our members — more than 90 businesses, economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, educational institutions and other nonprofit organizations — have fought for legislation that makes a real difference in improving opportunities for economic growth.

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State commissioners to tour southeastern Minnesota

Commissioners from nine state agencies will visit communities and businesses in southeastern Minnesota during a three-day bus tour Sept. 18-20.

The fifth annual Commissioners on Wheels tour will focus on issues and investments related to innovation, manufacturing, workforce, energy and food production. The trip will include stops at businesses and other locations in 11 communities: Hastings, Red Wing, Winona, St. Charles, Lanesboro, Chatfield, Rochester, Austin, Claremont, Owatonna and Faribault.

Among the goals of the trip is to increase awareness of Minnesota Business First Stop, which Gov. Mark Dayton created in 2012 with the goal of helping businesses cut through red tape when working with state agencies. The nine state agencies with representatives on the trip are partners in Minnesota Business First Stop, with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) serving as the lead agency.