DETROIT LAKES — Members of Senator Amy Klobuchar’s outreach staff hosted a one-hour listening session with Detroit Lakes stakeholders and organizations on Wednesday, March 30.
Klobuchar kicked off the event at M State with a pre-recorded video that was played for attendees, highlighting measures the senator supports such as: apprenticeship programs; education savings accounts that include job training and certification programs; and skills training credits of up to $4,000 per person for people who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and want to be trained in more in-demand fields.
“From Red Wing to Winona, Rochester to Detroit Lakes, East Grand Forks to Bemidji, Grand Rapids to Hermantown and Hinckley, we all share the same goal of making sure workers have the skills they need to succeed. and helping our state’s businesses succeed, and in doing so, helping our state succeed,” Klobuchar said in the video. “Everyone deserves a chance to succeed, and by making sure that Americans can find apprenticeships and pay for vocational training at a community college, they get a fair chance.”
Klobuchar said there are currently more than 205,000 job vacancies in Minnesota, and in a recent manufacturing survey, 90% of manufacturers said it was “difficult” to find workers with the skills and appropriate experience.
She is also currently supporting or co-sponsoring several bills in Congress that
The meeting included members of M State, City of Detroit Lakes staff, rural MN Concentrated Employment Program staff, Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce representatives, and public school officials of Detroit Lakes.
“We’re seeing more and more interest in Greater Minnesota and the issues we face, and how they’re different from metro areas and how we need to talk about them more in unison,” said Carrie Brimhall, president from M State. . “These meetings are really important for us to come together, to look each other in the face and to remember that we are here for the same purpose, which is to build a strong community.”
She added that workforce issues discussed at the meeting — such as the availability of childcare, adequate affordable housing stock, and financial barriers to certification and training programs — have already been addressed. discussed at similar gatherings.
“The beauty of what’s happening, if I can look at it optimistically…is that in times of crisis, in the state we’re in right now, people are getting really creative,” Brimhall said. . “So things that we may have talked about, dreamed about, are coming true, and the money that’s given to people to create an environment where they can do better, be better and grow in their careers, is incredible.”
Introducing the meeting, Rommel Lee, Klobuchar’s office outreach director, said labor issues are a “hot topic” of discussion as the country continues to slowly emerge from the pandemic. of COVID-19, and they also need to prepare for the workforce of future generations at the same time.
As Lee and his colleagues drove to Detroit Lakes, Lee said, “Literally every half hour you would see a sign on the side of the road: Mechanic Needed, Welder Needed, Machine Operator…C So clearly is an important discussion, especially here when we’re talking about communities in Greater Minnesota.”
Lee said the Detroit Lakes roundtable was one of nine stops the outreach team is taking this week across the state to discuss local labor issues with community leaders. At their conclusion, the team will provide the senator with a detailed report of what was discussed.