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 Response Page - Highfield / Dahl  Interview -      
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These comments are responses to the statements listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Matt Highfield / Steven Dahl  Interview of
03-21-2014.
 

Minnesota a good location for business but could do more to drive investment

OVERVIEW

According to Matt Highfield and Steven Dahl of Deloitte Consulting, Minnesota is not considered very business-friendly by business location consultants or many businesses. On the other hand, he says, the state is not considered business-unfriendly, either. Highfield says Minnesota is not known as an easy state to work with on permitting, licensing or speed of movement on decisions. In addition, the state does not offer competitive financial incentives to companies considering moving or expanding here. He points out that many southeastern states have been very successful in attracting businesses because they compete intensely with each other and must be very aggressive in their business-attraction strategies.

He makes the point, however, that incentives don't make the wrong location the right location. The worst-case scenario, he says, is if a company can't find the workforce it needs, especially in knowledge-based industries. He points out that the Twin Cities stand out in that area, with a high-quality, highly educated workforce.

Highfield discusses the importance of a quality education system to prepare workers at all levels for today's and tomorrow's technically skilled jobs. He comments that students with technical skills learned at technical and community colleges can not only find good careers, but also are more likely to stay in Minnesota than graduates of, for example, the University of Minnesota. And he says more must be done to interest junior and senior high school students in science, math and other technical careers.

For the complete interview summary see: Highfield-Dahl interview

Response Summary: Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readers’ zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.

To assist the Civic Caucus in planning upcoming interviews, readers rated these statements about the topic on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

1. Topic is of value. (9.0 average response) The interview summarized today provides valuable information or insight.

2. Further study warranted. (8.0 average response) It would be helpful to schedule additional interviews on this topic.

Readers rated the following points discussed during the meeting on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

3. Incentives likely in future. (6.9 average response) Given existing trends, it is likely that from now on the vast majority of major business expansions and relocations in Minnesota will be accompanied by financial incentives from government.

4. Businesses keenly analyzing offers. (9.3 average response) As they consider economic development issues, policymakers should be mindful that businesses will often use sophisticated means in analyzing where to locate, including hiring respected private consultants to help evaluate competing financial incentive packages.

5. MN not among most attractive sites. (7.9 average response) While Minnesota has many advantages, including a highly regarded work force and quality of life, the state isn't regarded as among the most attractive states for locating new or expanding business operations that would contribute to strong economic development.

6. Address flaws, review incentives. (9.6 average response) Consequently, state and local officials should regularly examine the state's economic development image to determine (a) how to alleviate weaknesses, (b) how to capitalize on strengths, and (c) how to prepare incentive packages that offer neither too much nor too little.

7. Worker training is a beneficial incentive. (8.6 average response) Publicly-funded financial incentives used to pay for training employees for jobs in a private business would benefit both the taxpaying public (with better job prospects) and the recipient business (with better qualified employees).

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Topic is of value.

0%

0%

13%

38%

50%

8

2. Further study warranted.

0%

0%

13%

63%

25%

8

3. Incentives likely in future.

0%

13%

13%

63%

13%

8

4. Businesses keenly analyzing offers.

0%

0%

0%

50%

50%

8

5. MN not among most attractive sites.

0%

0%

25%

38%

38%

8

6. Address flaws, review incentives.

0%

0%

0%

25%

75%

8

7. Worker training is a beneficial incentive.

0%

0%

0%

63%

38%

8

Individual Responses:

Phil Kinnunen (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

6. Address flaws, review incentives. We in Minnesota have an attitude of "If it's a big corporation, they are only out to rape and pillage the environment and leave us with all the scrap". The environment and being good stewards is very important, but all big business isn't the bad guy.

Don Anderson (5) (5) (7.5) (7.5) (5) (7.5) (7.5)

Anonymous (10) (7.5) (2.5) (10) (10) (10) (7.5)

3. Incentives likely in future. It may be equally important that attention is paid to continue discussions with the present important industries to form organizations of industries similar and dissimilar that are supportive of the state. Satisfaction of local companies or organizations set the tone for attracting new enterprises even if they may be competitive.

Kevin Edberg (10) (7.5) (5) (10) (5) (10) (10)

Scott Halstead (10) (10) (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (10)

6. Address flaws, review incentives. The Metropolitan Council Thrive 2040 MSP is going to put a damper on retaining and attracting businesses. Also, our high tax rates will become more detrimental as other areas’ workforces improve and they have more to offer.

Chuck Lutz (9) (8) (9) (9) (7) (10) (8)

Lyall Schwarzkopf (9) (9) (7) (9) (9) (10) (8)

Wayne Jennings (9) (7) (7) (9) (7) (9) (8)

    

The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Interview Group  includes persons of varying political persuasions,
reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

  John S. Adams, David Broden, Audrey Clay, Janis Clay, Pat Davies, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje (coordinator), Randy Johnson, Sallie Kemper, Ted Kolderie, Dan Loritz (chair),
Tim McDonald, Bruce Mooty, John Mooty, Jim Olson, Paul Ostrow, Wayne Popham, Dana Schroeder, Clarence Shallbetter, and Fred Zimmerman


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The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
2104 Girard Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405.  civiccaucus@comcast.net
Dan Loritz, chair, 612-791-1919   ~   Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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