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ENEWS: On Career Pathways, a Clean Energy Jobs Surge, and “Amazing MN”

Date Published: 09/14/2017

Author: Dane Smith

Putting Things Back Together

Our research and advocacy on behalf of workforce quality and equity has uncovered yet another effective Career Pathway model called Youth Social Entrepreneurship.  We co-authored a recent commentary in MinnPost on the “Tried and True Engine” program serving youth in Chisago and Washington counties, featuring a young man who was having some trouble in school but who is now headed for a promising career in aviation mechanics.  One of Minnesota’s primary public policy challenges in coming years is correcting the imbalance between a shortage of skilled workers and too many underemployed adults who lack skills and credentials.

A Surge in Clean Energy Jobs

A new report from the non-profit group Clean Energy Economy Minnesota and Clean Jobs Midwest is attracting a lot of attention from the media and policy-makers.  The report shows that more than 57,000 Minnesotans now hold clean energy jobs, and that the 5.3 percent growth rate in this sector was almost four times faster than in all other areas of the economy.  The report prompted a bi-partisan call for the Legislature and other policy-makers to set more ambitious goals for conversion to renewable energy.  A Star Tribune article noted that two state senators, Karin Housley, R-St. Mary’s Point, and Nick Frentz, DFL-North Mankato, were leading the effort and framing it as a competitive advantage for Minnesota. Housley said: “Today’s report indicates that Minnesota has the capability to lead the way, but we can’t rest on our laurels.  There’s more work to be done.”

Amazing Minnesota

Lee Lynch, founder and retired CEO of a major Minnesota advertising company, also a founding and current board member of Growth & Justice, has long been an irrepressible cheerleader for Minnesota, and especially its innovative and progressive characteristics.  He’s published an entertaining and lavishly illustrated book entitled “Amazing Minnesota: State Rankings & Unusual Information” which could serve as recruitment tool for economic development agencies and corporate employers. A Star Tribune op-ed this week recommended that the book be sent to Amazon as it considers where to locate its second world headquarters.  Lee will be holding forth and signing copies of the book from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, September 15th at Surly Brewing, Scheid Hall, 520 Malcolm Av. SE, in Minneapolis.

Quote of the Week

“We don’t have any coal in the ground in Minnesota, we don’t have any oil that we can drill. But we have wind, and we have solar.” ­­–– Sen. Nick Frentz, DFL- North Mankato

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