Mark Dayton in Virginia for Jobs Summit

By KBJR News 1

September 13, 2011 Updated Sep 13, 2011 at 6:52 PM CDT

Virginia, MN (Northlands Newscenter) - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton stopped on the Iron Range today to talk about the best way to stimulate jobs in that troubled region.
The stop in Virginia was part of the governor's state–wide jobs summit to assess the need and look for ideas.

It's not everyday you get a chance to sit down with a governor to talk about your future. But that's what Governor Mark Dayton did today at the Mesabi Range Community and Technical College. The governor told the students the best thing they had going was the strong relationship between range business and education.

"Well I think the higher education connection here with business and industry is more advanced than many other parts in the state. We want to build on that because we want to make sure that we are preparing young people and non traditional students, those returning for the jobs that are going to be available in the future.

A panel of concerned Iron Ore business owners met with non traditional students and higher education leaders to kick around ideas for stabilizing and strengthening the Range economy. Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board Director Tony Sertich says the quality of the people is what will ensure that Iron Range stability.

"You know we look at our resources. Our mining resources. Our timber resources. But our best resource and it is a renewable resource, is our people. As doctor Collins said, Generations before us knew the value of education."

Long time Range employers like Scott Asbach says he understands the importance of education in keep the younger generation on the Range.

" If you look through the youth's eyes you will remain young together the rest of our life and with the alignment we have today our future is going to be tremendously bright.

Along with improving education throughout the region Governor Dayton says a mineral coordinator position could aid in the region's development. He says he's working on that.

Mark Dayton is on the third leg of his jobs summit. He's been to Winona, Fergus Falls and Brainerd so far.