Minnesota leaders to announce new economic council

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(ABC 6 News) – Tuesday, state leaders announced a new council on economic development.

Gov. Tim Walz, along with business leaders, announced the new "Governor’s Council on Economic Expansion." The Council brings together 15 labor, business, philanthropic, and non-profit leaders from across the state to provide recommendations on expanding Minnesota’s economy.

“As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and look toward the future, we must take bold action to build back Minnesota’s economy stronger than before, with people—our strongest asset—at the center of the blueprint,” said Governor Walz. “The Council on Economic Expansion brings together the brightest minds in Minnesota to create a strong economic future that includes every Minnesotan. I am grateful to each of these leaders, and I look forward to their work on this Council.”

The Council will first identify immediate actions, potential policy changes, and recommendations to leverage remaining American Rescue Plan funding to advance equitable economic growth. The group will then focus on developing a long-term roadmap to achieve a more equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and resilient Minnesota through public, private, and nonprofit systemic change.

The Council will be co-chaired by Jeff Ettinger, former Hormel CEO, and Paul Williams, CEO and president of Project for Pride in Living.

The Council will work with state, local, and tribal governments; businesses; workers; higher education institutions; nonprofits; grassroots movements; and communities who have been disproportionately impacted by the inequitable systems of the past and by the pandemic.

Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development Steve Grove, Commissioner of Human Services Jodi Harpstead, and Commissioner of Labor and Industry Roslyn Robertson will work closely with the Council.

The Governor today appointed the following members, who will serve terms expiring on July 1, 2022.

    • Jeff Ettinger, Former Chairman of the Board and CEO, Hormel Foods (Co-Chair)?
    • Paul Williams, President and CEO, Project for Pride in Living (Co-Chair)?
    • Scott Burns, CEO and Co-Founder, Structural
    • Brett Carter, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer and Innovation Officer, Xcel Energy
    • Joe Fowler, President, Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council
    • Jodi Hubler, Vice Chair, Medical Alley Board of Directors
    • Brenda Hilbrich, Executive Vice President, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota
    • Neel Kashkari, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
    • Marcus Owens, Executive Director, African American Leadership Forum
    • Tuleah Palmer, President and CEO, Blandin Foundation
    • Joo Hee Pomplun, Executive Director, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability
    • Nonoko Sato, Executive Director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
    • Traci Tapani, Co-President, Wyoming Machine
    • Bharti Wahi, Executive Director, Children’s Defense Fund – Minnesota
    • Penny Wheeler, CEO, Allina Health