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Governor Walz Highlights Efforts to Grow Minnesota’s Workforce During Workforce Development Month

Office of Governor Tim Walz & Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today are celebrating Workforce Development Month and highlighting efforts to connect Minnesotans to high-growth, high-demand jobs through job training and workforce development programs.

"From youth training programs to workforce development grants, we have many tools in our wheelhouse to recruit and train workers for the high-growth, high-demand jobs we have available across our state," said Governor Walz. "Through these programs, we're finding new ways to bring more Minnesotans into the labor market, grow our economy, and help businesses and workers thrive."

"When we invest in workforce development and job training programs, we advance economic equity for Minnesotans across the state," said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. "These programs are charting pathways for Minnesotans to succeed in high-growth industries, from clean energy to health care. I'm grateful for those working to connect Minnesotans with these fantastic opportunities across our state."

In Minnesota, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and its business and nonprofit partners strive to connect people who need work with employment, and to help employers reach often overlooked labor pools. These efforts are now amplified thanks to additional investment in employment and training to bring more Minnesotans into the labor force on a career path with family-sustaining wages.

"Thanks to historic and visionary initiatives passed during the legislative session, DEED and our workforce development partners have new tools to help people prepare for and find employment," said DEED Commissioner Matt Varilek. "This is great news for Minnesota workers and employers, including businesses struggling to find the workers they need during our tight labor market."

Minnesota and many states across the nation face a tight labor market due to demographic changes, including a rapidly aging population and a large number of baby boomers retiring. While Minnesota already has one of the highest labor force participation rates in the country, helping more people to join or rejoin the labor force will help employers and workers thrive.

"Taking additional steps to align the workforce development system in order to deliver high quality services and prepare more Minnesotans to attain family-sustaining employment are important strategies to address employment and economic disparities," said Marc Majors, DEED Deputy Commissioner of Workforce Development. "The significant funding from the Legislature will assist more Minnesotans in joining the labor force and help meet the hiring needs of employers."

This fall, DEED will roll out several new or bolstered workforce development initiatives, including:

  • Targeted Populations Workforce Grants to bring workers who are often overlooked, particularly Black, Indigenous, and people of color, into the workforce at family-sustaining wages
  • The Drive for Five Fund to create a pipeline of workers who are skilled and prepared to pursue employment in high-demand, career-path occupations in Minnesota
  • The Clean Energy Equitable Workforce program to prepare Black, Indigenous, and people of color for high-demand fields in clean energy
  • Youth workforce training programs, which received a boost in funding and could serve twice as many young people as they did during the last two years
  • Programs that help connect Minnesotans with disabilities to employment, which also received additional funding, including State Services for the Blind and Individual Placement Services
  • The new Employer Reasonable Accommodation Fund to help employers make reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities

In addition to these new programs, longstanding and effective programs like the CareerForce network continues to serve workers across the state. CareerForce is made up of DEED and local workforce development board staff, who along with other workforce development partners around the state are offering services in person, over the phone, and online. CareerForce workforce development professionals help people explore their career options, access training and other services for which they are eligible, plus prepare for job interviews, update their resume, and network to find employment now. Minnesotans are invited to find assistance at a CareerForce location near them by visiting or by calling 651-259-7500.

The State of Minnesota recognizes that investment in the education, training, and career advancement of Minnesota's workforce is crucial to the ability of our state to compete in the global economy and to achieve economic equity for all Minnesotans. View additional resources and Governor Walz's proclamation of Workforce Development Month.

DEED is the state's principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more information about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter. You can view resources to help Minnesotans prepare for and find employment now, including thousands of open positions throughout Minnesota, at