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Published June 11 2010

Kelliher praises MSCTC

With 240,000 people out of work, Minnesota must continue to train a top-notch work force, endorsed Minnesota DFL gubernatorial candidate Margaret Anderson Kelliher said Thursday in Moorhead.

“What I see here is what I see in a lot of places: the drive and innovation to create jobs across the state and the need to train the work force of the future,” Kelliher said while touring the Minnesota State Community and Technical College campus in Moorhead.

Kelliher lauded the campus for instituting training programs in nanotechnology and bio-fuels technology that will provide future job opportunities.

Kelliher said her focus as governor will be strengthening the state economy by creating good-paying jobs.

“A good-paying job is one that can support you and your family in the area that you live in,” Kelliher said. “It’s being able to support yourself and those that you are caring for.”

On student tuition, Kelliher said it’s time for Minnesota to again fund a greater share of higher education costs.

Minnesota previously funded two-thirds of the cost of attending college, she said.

“Now we’re at one-third. What it means for students is the debt of a house on their back when they are graduating from college,” she said.

Kelliher said Minnesota must redouble efforts to lower property taxes, a key concern raised by existing businesses.

Over the last six to eight years, Minnesota has balanced its budget on the backs of property tax payers, said Rep. Paul Marquart, D-Dilworth, who accompanied Kelliher on her tour.

“Those property taxes for farmers and small businesses, seniors on fixed incomes and young families have just been very burdensome on their quality of life,” Marquart said.

Kelliher, raised on a dairy farm, said Minnesota needs to help farmers increase profit margins by promoting value-added crop and production opportunities and supporting dairy initiatives to help enhance milk production.

Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502