Thursday, October 14, 2010

Exclusive: Hillsider asks gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer about Duluth's workforce and economic recovery

Our question: How do you perceive Duluth's workforce meeting the required skills for economic recovery from this recession?

Tom Emmer - Republican candidate for Minnesota governor

Duluth has a rich history of innovation, entrepreneurship and resiliency. Generations of hard working men and women in northern Minnesota grew the city from its roots as a fur-trading settlement to a bastion of opportunity in the wheat, mining, lumber and transportation industries, to name a few. The region has both flourished and struggled throughout history, but one thing remains constant—the people are and always have been responsible for its renewal.
In today’s economy, Minnesota and Duluth are in need of another economic rebirth.

We need to bring job creation, business growth and economic expansion back to the area. People will once again facilitate the innovation and creativity needed to get our economic engine moving again. In doing so, Minnesota will continue to be the best place to live, work and raise a family.
I have been traveling the state for months talking with voters about how we can revive our economy, create new jobs and eliminate government regulations that impede growth. By reforming our regulatory and permitting processes, we can get PolyMet, Duluth Metals and Franconia operating at full potential.

As governor, my two top priorities will be creating jobs and improving education. The key to long-term job creation is education. We must, however, improve education through long-overdue reforms. Reforming education is as much about jobs and future prosperity as it is about learning. That is why we have laid out an education reform plan for pre-K, K-12 and higher education. In working with the university and MnSCU system, we can achieve the reform needed to improve educational outcomes for our students, thus ensuring a 21st century, globally competitive workforce.

Northeast Minnesota is on the cusp of generating thousands of new, high-paying jobs, and I am committed to making that happen. This area has raw potential for a complete revitalization of the Range, and I am excited to fight on behalf of the people to allow them to do what they do best—put their minds, bodies and entrepreneurial spirit back to work.