Minnesota manufacturers are optimistic about their prospects in 2018, according to an annual joint survey released this week by the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
In the random survey of 269 Minnesota manufacturing operations conducted in November, 95 percent of respondents expect production levels to increase or stay the same in 2018; 94 percent expect orders and employment levels to increase or stay the same and 90 percent expect exports to increase or stay the same.
Manufacturing is the state’s largest industry by gross domestic project, supporting 318,000 Minnesota jobs and contributing $48.2 billion to the state’s economy, DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy said in a statement.
The East Side Learning Center in St. Paul has issued an urgent request for volunteer tutors
to work one-on-one with students who read below grade level. It asks: “Can you imagine a world where all children discover the pride and joy of reading at grade level by third grade?”
Volunteers will be trained to provide lesson plans written and adapted to each child’s needs “to ensure our children’s reading skills improve — one book, one hour, one lesson at a time,” a statement from the program says. It notes that children who do not read at grade level by third grade are four times less likely to graduate from high school and that only about 36 percent of third graders meet their standardized reading tests in St. Paul.
To volunteer, visit the center’s website at eslcmn.org, call 651-793-7331 or email email@example.com.
The St. Paul Public Library tweeted this week about an important new job posting in our city. It’s for a social worker who will “be part of an innovative pilot involving community outreach” in four libraries.
The posting explains that the position — a partnership of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, the library system and the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library — involves work as part of the library team to help patrons and visitors “who may benefit from information and referral” that will help with homelessness, lack of access to health care and other needs.
It’s work made possible at the Arlington Hills, Rice Street, Rondo and Sun Ray branches by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education. Services are expected to begin in February.
Such services are becoming increasingly frequent in libraries, Public Services Manager Katrina Hartz Taylor told us.
In a blog post, the Minnesota Department of Education listed education accomplishments in 2017:
The department also includes on its list creation of a toolkit to help schools provide environments in which transgender and “gender nonconforming” students are safe and have equal access to educational opportunities, as well as submission of a state plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act.
The League of Minnesota Cities is partnering in an effort to help local governments advance racial equity.
A report in the latest issue of the league’s magazine focuses on work of a racial equity “cohort” project to help cities move beyond discussion of race and turn ideas into action.
In Red Wing, for example, city officials adopted a one-page guide to assess how policies and practices affect all residents, writer Mary Jane Smetanka reports, noting that the document “pushes leaders to look at the impact of any decisions, including who would benefit, who would be burdened, and what strategies would lessen any unintended consequences.”
The report quotes Michelle Leise, the city’s community engagement specialist, about the possible unintended negative consequences of local government policies and practices: “We need to be listening and understand how we affect all our residents. If we don’t do that, we are not the best community we can be.”
We mark the passing — 40 years ago this week — of Minnesota political giant Hubert Humphrey.
The former vice president, who died of cancer on Jan. 13, 1978, at his home in Waverly, is remembered in Roberta Walburn’s recent biography of maverick federal Judge Miles Lord.
Walburn writes about a turning point for Humphrey and his party at the 1948 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, as the then-Minneapolis mayor advocated for a strong civil-rights platform plank.
She notes his “Sunshine speech,” considered one of the greatest in American political history and recounts Humphrey’s immortal words:
“My friends, to those who say that we are rushing this issue of civil rights, I say to them we are 172 years late. To those who say that this civil-rights program is an infringement on states’ rights, I say this: The time has arrived in America for the Democratic Party to get out of the shadow of states’ rights and to walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.”
The text and an audio file are at americanrhetoric.com, which ranks the speech No. 64 on its list of Top 100 speeches.
Further, ideas matter, Opinuendo sayeth not.