Friday, May 24, 2024
HomeBusinessFrom the Desk of Representative Natalie Zeleznikar

From the Desk of Representative Natalie Zeleznikar

Rep. Zeleznikar Welcomes Local Testifiers for Trio of Bills in Workforce Development Finance and Policy Committee

Saint Paul, MN — April 3, 2024, Rep­resentative Natalie Zeleznikar (R – Fre­denberg Township) presented three bills in the Workforce Devel­opment Finance and Policy Committee to address critical needs in the community. The package of bills ad­dresses training needs for Lake County Am­bulance, IT career planning, and grants for career and techni­cal training. Each of these bills offers high school students’ op­portunities to expand their skillset as they approach entering the workforce into lucra­tive and highly needed fields.

“Students want to see a pathway to success that fits their goals and values. These career and technical training programs make those pathways accessi­ble while filling the troubling gaps in our workforce,” said Rep. Zeleznikar on her leg­islation. “Respected, well-paying jobs are the key to keeping our communities prosper­ous for generations to come. I look forward to all of the stories of families and success that will result from students being em­powered to build a life for themselves thanks to quality education.”

Randy Strohmey­er, Executive Direc­tor, testified on the $100,000 grant request to establish a program for Lake County and Cook County high school students inter­ested in pursuing ca­reers as an emergen­cy medical technician (EMT). From 2018 – 2021, Minnesota lost 4,506 EMT’s. This program would offer high school students the opportunity to have free tuition and a free student internship in their 11th and 12th grade years.

Ambulance services are a valid concern for Greater Minnesota, and Northeastern Min­nesota is no exception. Rep. Zeleznikar is on the Emergency Med­ical Services (EMS) task force and has visited communities across the state to lis­ten to the issues. One thing is for sure, we need to pivot to mean­ingful programs now.

Rep. Zeleznikar bene­fited from health occu­pations classes in high school in the 80’s. This opportunity created an interest in becoming a certified nursing assis­tant (CNA) and then a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator. Rep. Zeleznikar be­lieves high school pro­grams are critical to ensure opportunities for job shadowing, curriculum, and men­toring are key compo­nents to a pipeline of employees for greater Minnesota.

“The reality is that all great ideas come from those who do the job. This was a local idea, and it was well thought out with a meaningful pathway for imple­mentation. Two Har­bors and Lake County have strong partner­ships with Lakeview Hospital, Lake Coun­ty Commissioners, Chamber of Com­merce, City Coun­cilors, Mayor, Lake County Ambulance, and Lake Superior School District. When communities work to­gether, great things happen.”

Rep. Zeleznikar is op­timistic that this idea will be funded and become a great NE Minnesota pilot project to hope­fully implement in other communities as well.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular