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.
The nonprofit collaborative EMERGE and its partners have vigorously denied that there are any major issues with their work.
How much money to spend on the initiative will certainly be at issue this year. But the debate about oversight is likely to be just as contentious.
In the next decade, Minnesota is expected to add 23,000 personal care aide jobs.
Republicans weren’t exactly keen on the DFL’s priority on child care — expanding CCAP — before the audit, and the report has heightened their opposition.
Fraud, dysfunction, failed policies and subpoenas all made their way into the report. What didn’t? Any evidence of a connection between Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Program and funding for the al-Shabab terrorist organization.
Some worry that a new initiative, “Reimagining Minnesota State,” isn’t all that different from an old initiative, a plan that soured relations between faculty and the system’s former president.
DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said there was a move away from putting more money into grants he described as “siloed, carve-out programs,” but instead to “bring the philosophy of equity to all that we do.”
Grove, who once worked for YouTube and founded the Google News Lab, moved back to Minnesota from California last year before being picked to lead DEED.