Minnesota Gov. Walz appoints council to crank up post-pandemic economy

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WKBT) – Gov. Tim Walz established a new Minnesota Governor’s Council on Economic Expansion, enlisting 15 labor, business, philanthropic and nonprofit leaders from throughout the state to devise recommendations to expand the state’s economy.
“As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and look toward the future, we must take bold action to build back Minnesota’s economy stronger than before, with people — our strongest asset — at the center of the blueprint,” Walz said.
Issues the council is expected to tackle include employment for people who work from home, the futures of cities’ central business districts, training for jobs in the new economy and striving to solve child care and health care issues.
The council’s first goal will be to identify immediate actions, potential policy changes and recommendations to leverage remaining federal American Rescue Plan funding to advance equitable economic growth.
The group then will shift toward a long-term view to develop a plan to achieve a more equitable, inclusive, sustainable and resilient Minnesota through public, private and nonprofit systemic change, the governor said.
Co-chairing the council, which will convene for the first time from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, are former Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger and Paul Williams, CEO and president of Project for Pride in Living.
“We know the impact of the pandemic has fallen especially hard on communities of color and Minnesotans with low incomes,” Williams said. “Together, we can build a thriving economy that will help everyone in our state emerge stronger.”
The council will work with state, local, and tribal governments; businesses; workers; higher education institutions; nonprofits; grassroots movements, and communities that have lagged under the inequitable systems of the past and set back further by the pandemic.

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