DEED Commissioner Tours Iron Range Businesses

By KBJR News 1

April 1, 2013 Updated Apr 2, 2013 at 9:51 PM CDT

Eveleth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Growing the economy was the focus of a visit to Northeastern Minnesota Monday by DEED Commisioner Katie Clark Sieben.

"It's encouraging to see companies that are really having good growth and sustainable growth," Sieben said.

During the Commissioner's visit, she toured Joy Global's new facility in Virginia and proposed copper–nickel project Polymet in Hoyt Lakes.

Sieben also held a roundtable discussion with community members at the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) headquarters in Eveleth.

The talk wasn't just about jobs, but how to fill those jobs. The Commissioner says finding workers with the right skills sets can be a problem.

"Companies are finding the talent they need, but it's a continuing challenge to make sure they find individuals with just the right skills," she said.

Another topic was how to promote the economy Minnesota and the Range already has. According to DEED, the state has the sixth fastest job growth rate in the country.

"We've seen faster job growth in the past six months than we have for any other six-month period since 1984," Sieben said.

Officials from DEED and the IRRRB hope that working together will help pull interested businesses into the area.

"We can leverage each other's dollars and that means the investment goes further," said IRRRB Commissioner, Tony Sertich.

Commissioner Sieben also toured Tri Tec during her visit.