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Addressing Minnesota’s workforce shortage

Our goal is to accelerate private sector workforce efforts to help employers attract and retain the skilled workers they need to compete.

Our state is experiencing a serious workforce shortage in every industry in all parts of the state. Even with employer-funded customized training, there simply aren’t enough workers to fill these good-paying jobs: by 2021, the population of Minnesotan’s over age 65 will exceed the school-age population; and if the economy continues to expand on trend as it has over the past 5 years, we could face an estimated worker shortage of 239,000 by 2022.

A big part of this for the Minnesota Chamber means working with businesses to address this need ourselves. Through our initiatives like the Center for Workforce Solutions, locally driven, employer-led Business Education Networks, and Hidden Talent Pools, we offer research and programs to confront the state’s worker shortage and helps the state’s economy change and grow.

Though we’re seeing success in our private-sector work, the public sector needs to take steps, too. For example, early learning scholarships help increase educational outcomes that can lead to greater workforce participation. Public workforce development programs need to be responsive to employer needs, informed by economic data, and measured by workforce impact. This session, we advocated for a number of workforce issues at the Capitol and were able to:

  • Procure scholarships for areas of greatest workforce demand
  • Achieve funding for early learning scholarships that will allow greater participation
  • Secure funding to increase quality child care in communities with shortages