September is Workforce Development Month
Workforce development efforts more important than ever during historically tight labor market
September 2, 2022
St. Paul – September is Workforce Development Month, a time to honor workforce development leaders and staff across Minnesota, as well as draw attention to the resources available to those looking for work and to employers who need workers. In Minnesota, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and its business and nonprofit partners throughout the state are working hard to connect all Minnesotans who need work with employment and to help employers reach often overlooked labor pools.
"At DEED we are laser-focused on connecting people who need work with the employers who need them," said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. "These efforts accelerated over the past several months during our Summer of Jobs campaign, and our proactive approach will continue."
"We know that Minnesotans who are Black, have disabilities, or are justice system-involved and others experience higher unemployment than white Minnesotans," said Scott Schulte, Chair of the Minnesota Association of Workforce Boards (MAWB) and Anoka County Commissioner. "Local workforce development staff who provide CareerForce services across the state are committed to address these disparities."
"There are multiple ways we can address disparities and help employers connect with labor pools they may have overlooked," said Laura Beeth, Chair of the Governor's Workforce Development Board (GWDB) and Vice President for Workforce Partnerships at M Health Fairview. "We're focused on developing policies and guidelines to help employers welcome members of under-represented labor pools."
Minnesota's unemployment rate for July is at 1.8%, the lowest recorded anywhere in the U.S. since such records started being kept nearly a half century ago. Even before the pandemic, there were major changes underway in Minnesota's workforce due to dramatic demographic changes in our state and across the country. In Minnesota, more than a half million people will reach the age of 65 between 2015 and 2035, leading to a decline in the share of the working age population from 62% to 57% during that time. In addition, by 2035, one in four Minnesotans will be from a community of color or Indigenous population.
Workforce Development events in September include:
• September 9 – we're extending the Summer of Jobs campaign past Labor Day with a stop at Summit Academy, a nonprofit Career and Technical Education (CTE) Institute in North Minneapolis
• September 15 – CareerForce is hosting an in-person career fair featuring nearly 100 area employers in St. Cloud
• Late September – DEED will host an event focused on hiring people who were formerly incarcerated, an often-overlooked labor pool
DEED's Summer of Jobs campaign has visited communities throughout Minnesota over the past few months, with three major goals:
• Showcase the thousands of amazing jobs available in Minnesota, so that job seekers are aware of where the opportunity lies.
• Amplify the many sources of labor that employers often overlook or lack a connection to, such as immigrant communities, young people, retirees returning to the workforce, people with disabilities or those recently released from correctional facilities.
• Highlight the innovation and best practices from businesses, job seekers, and communities – as well as the multiple services DEED is revamping at our agency – to help increase opportunity and productivity in our workforce.
State government is working together across agencies to address workforce challenges by focusing on the following efforts:
1. Strengthening our pipeline by investing in students
2. Activating workers who are overlooked into great jobs
3. Attracting new talent and jobs to the state
4. Focusing on critical sectors: health care, the caring professions, education
5. Looking to the future: technology and manufacturing jobs
6. Supporting the whole worker: childcare, transportation and housing
"Registered apprenticeship programs are a solid path for workers to establish life-long careers and for employers to build a motivated, highly skilled workforce," said Nicole Blissenbach, temporary commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. "There are currently more than 100 apprenticeship paths in a range of industries where apprentices can earn a good wage and master in-demand skills."
"Helping students prepare now for a bright future after high school is a really critical part of our work," said Dr. Heather Mueller, Commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Education. "We help support career readiness training at schools throughout Minnesota, encouraging districts to foster industry partnerships and relationships with local employers."
CareerForce is Minnesota's workforce system, which is made up of DEED and local workforce development board staff, who along with other workforce development partners around the state are offering services in person, over the phone and online. Any Minnesotan can utilize CareerForce services. CareerForce workforce development professionals help people explore their career options, access training and other services for which they are eligible, plus prepare for job interviews, update their resume and network to find employment now. Minnesotans are invited to find assistance at a CareerForce location near them by visiting CareerForceMN.com/locations or by calling 651-259-7500.
The State of Minnesota recognizes that investment in the education, training and career advancement of Minnesota's workforce is crucial to the ability of our state to compete in the global economy and to achieve economic equity for all Minnesotans. See additional resources and Governor Walz's proclamation of Workforce Development Month.
DEED is the state's principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website, the JoinUsMn.com website, or follow us on Twitter.