Opinion: Ruthe Batulis and Jason George
When you measure job creation, Minnesota is doing better than most states today. If we wish to continue this trend for 2013 and beyond, we must always be working to attract industries that can generate good paying jobs for our citizens.
The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49 represents 13,000 heavy-equipment operators, most of which make their living building the infrastructure of Minnesota. The Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce represents businesses of all kinds in the Southeast Suburbs of the Twin Cities. Business and labor don’t always agree, but when it comes to job creation, and specifically the jobs that will come with the mining of strategic metals in Northern Minnesota, we couldn’t agree more.
Minnesota is fortunate to have an abundance of natural resources. We are literally, “by nature” an agricultural state, a timber state and a mining state. The jobs these industries have brought have raised families for generations here. We have an emerging prospect right now in Northeast Minnesota for the mining of strategic metals. Metals such as copper, nickel, platinum, palladium, cobalt and gold are known to be plentiful and now accessible. One of several deposits already has over 4 billion tons of these minerals identified.