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Legislative Update: February 4, 2019

Posted By Administration, Monday, February 4, 2019

New DEED Commissioner Steve Grove officially took his post on Monday, January 28th. On Tuesday, January 29th he made his first appearance at the Legislature, testifying in Representative Mahoney’s Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division. Commissioner Grove introduced himself and his personal and professional background and then presented, along with DEED staff, an overview of the Agency’s mission and responsibilities.

Commissioner Grove told the committee about his career path that has led him to DEED. He taught English in Japan after college, came back to the United States and worked as a journalist at ABC News, then moved to the west coast and worked at YouTube during its early days before moving to Google. Commissioner Grove and his wife have young twin boys and thought Minnesota would be the best place to raise their family.

Commissioner Grove spoke of three top priorities he sees for his Agency. The first is the talent gap, where we are not seeing enough people seeking work for certain high skilled jobs. The second is income inequality. Commissioner Grove said that while we have a lot to be proud of in Minnesota, we should be embarrassed by our state’s economic data for people of color and that has to change. The final priority Commissioner Grove outlined was for the need to accelerate our innovation economy. This focus on technology and innovation makes sense given the Commissioner’s background, and he even told the Committee that his wife works for a venture capital firm that focuses on investing in technology companies outside of the coasts. He mentioned her employment in this field in relation to the Angel Income Tax Credit, a program he believes in and would like to see come back in Minnesota.

The Commissioner will be busy making the rounds through House and Senate committees in the coming weeks and we will keep you updated as DEED’s priorities continue to form.

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