ST. PAUL —
In between the commissioners, Wells Fargo analyst Michael Swanson told the group — which had dwindled from roughly 100 to perhaps a few dozen — about the importance of exports.
“There’s absolutely nothing better for the long-term success of the Mankato area than export-focused companies,” he said. Improving transportation, especially to the international airport in Minneapolis, would be helpful, he said.
Dayton’s higher-education commissioner, Larry Pogemiller, had a discussion with Greater Mankato Growth Vice President Barb Embacher about guiding high schoolers toward profitable careers.
“We’re giving general grants to kids to pursue dreams that are not marketable,” Embacher said.
Pogemiller seemed to agree, at least in part, saying that the state’s role is to provide students the information on what they can expect once they graduate or get a certification. Software programs on smartphones may be a more trusted source for teens, he said, compared to advice from adults.
“Even though we’re the ones that set up a system to get you that information,” he said jokingly.