Saint Paul, MN

Discover how DEED's Approach improves the Workforce Development Fund

Abdi Isaaq

SAINT PAUL, MN — The Department of Employment and Economic Development or DEED has regularly heard from legislators and stakeholders that the state's workforce development fund needs to be modernized. For years, stakeholders have asked DEED to explore improvements, and during this legislative session, DEED collaborated with hundreds of stakeholders to create legislation that achieved just that.

DEED feels that in the coming years, modernization will be a crucial requirement for both job searchers and companies in Minnesota.

What needs reforming is listed in the following areas:

• Equity – The fund would benefit from a perspective that concentrates investment on those who confront the most significant systematic impediments in Minnesota economy. Grantees would benefit from a clear definition of what success looks like in Workforce Development.

• Innovation – A road for novel workforce development techniques to be tried, measured and grown based on success.

• Efficiency — A more efficient distribution of expenditures in a given year to guarantee dollars are spent when and where they are needed.

• Transparency — Over the years, the fund has been utilized to make direct contributions to workforce groups approved by the legislature. Those involved in these decisions repeatedly state that they would prefer to make them in a more competitive atmosphere where performance measures govern decision-making.

Minnesota has one of the most talented labor forces in the country. That is not by chance; it is the result of years of investment by public and private sector leaders in education and training to generate strong talent for a diverse economy.

The state's Workforce Development Fund—a payroll-tax-fueled training fund that puts substantial money toward training workers for in-demand jobs across Minnesota —is one of the distinct differentiators to training workforce that many people may be unaware of.

Minnesota is the only state in the country with such a fund. Despite this, it has been in operation since its creation with no major changes. Meanwhile, much has changed in Minnesota’s economy, including best practices in workforce development, advancements in performance management and the overall composition and demands of Minnesota's economy.

More information on these new programs, including the undertaken process and the proposed reforms, are available to read at the DEED Developments Blog.

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Minneapolis, MN

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