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These comments are responses to the Civic Caucus interview with

Paul Moe, executive director, Minnesota Job Skills Partnership
July 17, 2015

Minnesota Job Skills Partnership is key to future work force

Overview

The exponential speed at which technology is changing makes incumbent worker training programs critical to meeting the skills needs of Minnesota employers, according to Paul Moe, director of the Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership (MJSP).


With Minnesota at nearly full employment, areas throughout the state need more skilled, semiskilled and super-skilled workers, he says.

 

Moe says the state's manufacturers recognize they will be facing the double whammy of increasing retirements and the chronic shortage of skilled workers to replace those retirees. He predicts that in certain pockets of the state, signing bonuses for new hires in fields like precision manufacturing will run as high as $10,000 to $30,000.

 

Moe asserts that MJSP is the premier incumbent worker-training program in the nation. The program awards grants to educational institutions partnering with businesses to design curriculum and provide specific skills training for incumbent workers. Created in 1983, MJSP has facilitated training for over 100,000 Minnesota workers, he notes.

 

In addition to focusing on the skill development of incumbent workers, he says, MJSP also aims to increase the capacity of educational institutions. Technical colleges in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system receive the largest share of MJSP training grants. Through its grants, Moe maintains, the program has been instrumental in expanding new course offerings at colleges and universities throughout Minnesota, helping them stay current in training for the skills employers need.

 

For the complete interview summary see:  Paul Moe interview

 

Response Summary: Readers rated these statements about the topic and about points discussed during the meeting, on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

  

1. Topic is of value. The interview summarized today provides valuable information or insight.

 

2. Further study warranted. It would be helpful to schedule additional interviews on this topic.

 

3. Training best with cooperation. Job training programs are most likely to succeed when they involve cooperation among government, employers, and educators.

 

4. State’s need urgent. Minnesota today has a particularly urgent need to develop more trained workers.

 

5. Speed of change a factor. The need is accentuated by the exponential speed with which jobs are changing because of technology.

 

6. Job Skills Partnership a valued asset Thus, the state is fortunate to have the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership, a cooperative effort among state government, employers and educators that has trained some 100,000 workers in the past 33 years.

 

7. Signing bonuses possible result.The need for skilled workers is so acute that employers might offer more signing bonuses, as is practiced in professional sports.

 

8. Include marginal groups. Moreover, training for neglected groups such as ex-offenders might be an advantage, not just an act of charity.

 

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Topic is of value.

0%

0%

20%

60%

20%

10

2. Further study warranted.

0%

0%

30%

50%

20%

10

3. Training best with cooperation.

0%

0%

10%

70%

20%

10

4. State’s need urgent.

0%

11%

11%

44%

33%

9

5. Speed of change a factor.

0%

0%

10%

70%

20%

10

6. Job Skills Partnership a valued asset

0%

10%

10%

50%

30%

10

7. Signing bonuses possible result.

0%

0%

40%

60%

0%

10

8. Include marginal groups.

0%

0%

20%

60%

20%

10

 

 

Individual Responses:

Alan Miller  (10)  (7.5)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (7.5)  (7.5)

 8. Include marginal groups.  As the nation falls behind in so many categories, MN must remain a leader and on the cutting edge of technology and education.

 

Ray Ayotte  (7.5)  (7.5)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (7.5)  (10)

 

Bruce Lundeen  (5)  (5)  (7.5)  (2.5)  (7.5)  (2.5)  (5)  (5)

 4. State’s need urgent.  The challenge is to employ the underclass, they who are going to be most angry as opportunities evaporate.

 

6. Job Skills Partnership a valued asset. I do not believe the government has played a significantly and cost effective role in employment issues.  

 

8. Include marginal groups.  Unmentioned is the most numbered neglected group of black Americans.

 

This [is] “wrong-headed” thinking. Bright and skilled people always [rise to] a challenge when the opportunity exists. It is the black American underachievement problem that must be addressed before the social problem becomes a law enforcement problem. These people will create civil disturbances, and Minnesota, and very likely Minneapolis, will earn the infamy of Ferguson.

 

The “wrong-headedness” of this sort of thinking is not obvious. Smart people capable of assuming roles in difficult occupations do rise when opportunity exists. It is [by] the disadvantaged for whom there is no opportunity that the State’s future is threatened.  These frustrated, angry people will hurt you and damage property because they have been denied not only the “American dream”, but a subsistence wage. If Minnesota does not address black American underachievement and recognized that problems of crime, lack of diversity in the workplace and minority failures in the education system are social problems, they will become police problems when law enforcement maintains order during civil disturbance.  Minnesota, and probably Minneapolis in particular, will join Ferguson in infamy.

 

John Nowicki  (5)  (5)  (5)  (7.5)  (5)  (5)  (5)  (7.5)

 6. Job Skills Partnership a valued asset. This state continues to ignore the fact that it is not a military friendly state. The military is full of highly skilled personnel. There is no incentive to settle here. Military retirees are upstanding citizens who have, for the most part, experienced situations most can not comprehend and made it. They come with an education, a retirement to spend and health care. They are essentially burden free. Where is Mr. Moe on this? Is there a program?

 

7. Signing bonuses possible result. This is a corporate decision

 

Wayne Jennings  (9)  (9)  (9)  (na)  (9)  (9)  (8)  (9)

 

Terry Stone  (6)  (5)  (8)  (5)  (6)  (7)  (5)  (5)

 Skilled workers are fungible and very mobile. North Dakota is an example of how a state can quickly attract the skilled people it needs.

 

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

 

Paul Hauge  (9)  (10)  (8)  (9)  (9)  (8)  (9)  (9)

 

Tom Swain  (10)  (10)  (8)  (10)  (8)  (10)  (5)  (8)

 

Tom Spitznagle  (7)  (6)  (7)  (8)  (9)  (8)  (6)  (7)

 The appearance of MJSP’s objectivity in pursuing its goals and its overall credibility would be enhanced significantly if its board were not made up largely of political appointees.  Perhaps some combination of board appointees nominated by representatives of industry and education would work better.

 

 

To receive these interview summaries as they occur, email civiccaucus@comcast.net         Follow us on Twitter

 

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 (Executive Director), 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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