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Exclusive interview, Minnesota's Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development talks candidly about tough decisions

Jay Kolls
Updated: May 19, 2020 10:41 PM
Created: May 19, 2020 10:31 PM

Minnesota Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the toughest day on the job, in recent months, was the day Gov. Tim Walz issued the first 'stay at home' order.

"You know, Mike Tyson once said, 'everyone has a plan until you get punched in the mouth'," said Grove. "And, so we had to drastically change our plans to make sure the program could meet Minnesota's needs."

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That included an unprecedented number of unemployment insurance claims, coupled with federal money funneled into the state under the CARES Act.

"I would say 95% of the people applying for unemployment insurance had never done it before," said Grove. "The numbers are unprecedented and just trying to make sure everyone got the benefits they needed was daunting."

Grove said his upbringing, in Northfield, helped prepare him for a challenge like this during a pandemic and he credits his family with laying the groundwork for his success.

"It was tough overseeing the shutting down of businesses because I took this job last year to grow the economy and create jobs," said Grove.

"And, growing up in my dad's small business made it especially hard to make these decisions, but I believe Gov. Walz is making the right choices and we will get through this and it will get better," said Grove.

Click the video box above for the full interview


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