Gov. Walz visits school in Savage to highlight investments in education, need for more teachers

Walz highlights investments in teaching and other in-demand jobs

Walz highlights investments in teaching and other in-demand jobs

Governor Tim Walz is devoting much of this week to highlighting investments the Minnesota Legislature approved and he signed into law to help Minnesota employers fill jobs in an increasingly tight job market. On Wednesday afternoon, Governor Tim Walz joined a group of students in Savage to highlight Minnesota’s efforts to train and recruit teachers.

“We’re trying to recruit people to teach,” Walz told reporters after spending a short time working with students on a classroom lesson. “There’s very few things that make me more optimistic about Minnesota than going into a 5th-grade classroom and going into to see those young minds and the excitement they have.”

Walz was joined by DEED Commissioner Matt Varilek as well as teachers and students to “spend a day in the life of a fourth grader” as part of a workforce tour this week.

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The Minnesota economy is doing so well that public schools are competing with private industry for workers in a tight labor market.

“And so we have the challenge of not being able to find as many talented people to come into critical professions that we would like,” said Varilek.

The legislature passed $20 million in workforce development grants and the governor signed them into law. Those grants will mostly help private sector hiring, but the legislature also boosted education funding so schools can increase pay and benefits for teachers.

“We need to make sure that we pay them well,” Walz said. “Give them a good retirement. Make sure we keep them in Minnesota, so we don’t lose them elsewhere.”

As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, he spent time in Plymouth on Tuesday, where he met with manufacturers and touted the grants. On Thursday Walz will spend time with public safety workers by spending “a day in the life of a police officer” to highlight the need for more people in law enforcement.