Tom Horner, the Independence Party-endorsed candidate for governor, today unveiled his plan to spur economic development around the state as a way to revitalize communities.
“We can’t fix Minnesota’s problems if we don’t have healthy communities. To revitalize communities, we need to give them the tools and resources to compete,” Horner said. “The proposals offer a balanced approach of state and local investment, planning and support for rebuilding the economic development foundation of Minnesota’s communities.”
His goal, amidst the state’s high unemployment and budget problems, is to “invigorate local economies and create a mix of jobs, including good career jobs in cutting edge industries.”
The plan, released with his Lt. Gov. candidate Jim Mulder, covers three broad areas:
Creating Jobs: To spur economic growth, we will propose: funding applied research at the University of Minnesota and other higher education institutions that open doors to new industries; promoting innovation and new technologies that come from our educational institutions and add value to the entire state; and exempting businesses from the state sales tax on capital purchases.
Improving Infrastructure: The proposal assures that local communities have the infrastructure that businesses need to grow, compete and prosper, especially in the areas of transportation and technology. Examples include expanding the state broadband backbone to ensure that each Minnesota community, business and citizen has access to the next generation’s super highway and moving forward on a strong transportation network that can move product to markets and support worker access to jobs.
Investing in knowledge: Minnesota needs to be known as the knowledge state, and we achieve this through a trained work force. A vital element of a solid economic development plan is to coordinate state supported education and training programs that meet the needs of expanding businesses in every community.