More than any other group, Latinos in Minnesota remained in the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. But many found themselves on divergent paths.
MinnPost’s Good Jobs beat focuses on the role of government, nonprofits, businesses and individuals in creating good jobs in Minnesota — and in exploring how people who don’t have those jobs can get them.
Those who run some of Minnesota’s largest job-training nonprofits are urging the state to invest in programs to help those who had already been on the margins of the economy. If it doesn’t, they warn, Minnesota could face even worse joblessness among people who can least afford it.
The longer schools and businesses stay shut, the more uncertain the future is for many providers.
Here are some answers to questions about unemployment, sick leave and what governments are doing to help people who may lose jobs or money due to coronavirus.
The current round of changes is focused on easing bureaucracy, paperwork and monitoring the agency has decided is redundant or unhelpful.
As a lack of affordable child care has increasingly become a concern around Minnesota, new spending for the CCAP program is one way legislators from both parties are mulling how the government can help families enroll kids in early learning.
Last month, MinnPost reported on the state’s exception to a statute prohibiting public and private employers from inquiring about criminal history before an applicant has been selected for an interview or received a conditional employment offer.
Since 2018, as part of a contract agreement between a host of cleaning companies and the SEIU, the University of Minnesota has published a series of studies that say janitors face worrying rates of injury, as well as sleep issues that increase their chances of getting hurt.
Lawmakers expanded two pilot projects aimed at drawing high school and college students into fields starving for workers, from manufacturing and agriculture to health care and IT.
DEED had more than double the amount of contract infractions DHS did. And the violations at both agencies mostly involved technical mistakes: No state money was actually spent before contracts were finalized or purchases were approved, say state officials.
The implications of the two projects for the area’s workforce could be “crazy,” said Michelle Ufford, executive director of the Northeast Minnesota Office of Job Training.
Minnesota’s economic development agency requires partner nonprofits to report a lot of data, even as agency officials and legislators acknowledge the information isn’t critical for program evaluation.
Reimbursement payments for CCAP are so low that Minnesota is not compliant with federal requirements. But Senate Republicans say they aren’t convinced DHS can be trusted with the money needed to address the problem.
The opinion was a victory for states that have instituted rules to bar internet service providers from throttling web traffic and charging businesses more for faster speeds. It also gives new life to those who want Minnesota to follow suit.
The fair’s decision not to track the diversity of its vendors “is sort of like putting your head in the sand,” said Rebecca Lucero, the commissioner of the state’s Department of Human Rights. “You’re choosing to not find out what’s going on.”
The report on wind energy employment comes as state lawmakers are debating the role Minnesota government should play in speeding the transition to a carbon-free power grid.
The Legislature re-instituted an “angel” tax credit and created “Launch Minnesota” to nurture the state’s tech scene. Lawmakers also agreed to spend $40 million on a grant program to help build infrastructure for rural high-speed internet.
Equity money makes up a significant chunk of state spending on workforce development, and direct payments to nonprofits specifically chosen by the Legislature have ignited considerable debate at the state Capitol.
The equity program has been popular at the Capitol. But it has also been the source of friction between some nonprofits and the state Department of Employment and Economic Opportunity, which administers the funding.
What that means for parents, and business owners, concerned about making child care cheaper — and easier to access — across the state.