ROCHESTER, Minn. - The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner was in Rochester at One Discovery Square Wednesday for a roundtable discussion on pandemic economic recovery.
DEED's three goals under the One Minnesota plan are shrinking unemployment disparities, creating jobs in high-need areas, and strengthening the workforce.
"We lost over 400,000 jobs when we started this pandemic. That graph is one of the most stunning you'll see in economics. We've gotten about 62% of those jobs back in our state but we want to get back to 400,000 by the end of next year," explains Commissioner Steve Grove.
Grove also outlined the 2021 Jobs Bill.
One area getting funding is childcare. The industry is receiving eight times more money than ever before. The Childcare Economic Development Program launches September 1st.
"Continuing having that baseline of support for dollars because we really need to keep retaining our staff. Our staff need to have professional wages because this is an amazing profession to be in. Our teachers just love what they do and they are really making a difference in the lives of these children. And then we also need support for the parents because tuition is a huge expense for these families," says Christina Valdez, executive director of Listos Preschool and Childcare in Rochester.
Commissioner Grove believes Minnesota is in a good position to recover from the pandemic but was in Rochester to hear first-hand testimony from Rochester's business community.
"Minnesota has a strong foundation and we want to take advantage of that but we're not taking anything for granted. So just getting your general sense of, are we headed in the right direction as a state?" he asks.