Gov. Walz teaches classroom while highlighting investments in educators

MN Gov. Tim Walz teaches in classroom.
MN Gov. Tim Walz teaches in classroom.(Quinn Gorham)
Published: Jul. 19, 2023 at 8:33 PM CDT
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ST. PAUL -- Wednesday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz visited a summer school program in Savage, MN taking the reins as the head of the classroom for the afternoon. The Governor praised the students and their teachers for their hard work.

“I hope you all saw the joy, the potential for the future, the young minds that just never cease to amaze you every single day with what they come up with,” he said.

Walz and DEED Commissioner Matt Varilek are on a tour to highlight state investments in the workforce. The tour will highlight job creation and investments in industries like manufacturing, education, and public safety.

“The Department of Education, also has very significant resources as a result of the last [legislative] session, working more directly with the schools themselves to do great recruitment and steer teachers to where the need is the greatest,” said Varilek.

Specifically, a new program called “Drive for Five” invests roughly $20 million into the state’s 5 largest industries, which DEED claims to be “technology, caring professions, education, manufacturing, and trades.”

Walz, a former teacher, gave a standard lesson to a class of incoming 5th graders as part of the tour. Afterward, he chimed in on the importance of investing in educators in the state of Minnesota.

“We need to make sure that we continue to pay them well. [We need to] give them a good retirement and make sure we keep them in Minnesota, so we don’t lose them elsewhere. We’ll make the case to folks across the country, if you want to come enjoy that profession and teach and do things the way that you know they need to be done, this is the state to do that,” said the Governor.

“If we can elevate the fact that we have these many wonderful opportunities for people to earn a middle-class wage and enjoy the satisfaction of working with young people, then I think there’s a lot of reason for optimism,” said Varilek.

The next stop on the governor’s tour will be to highlight public safety workers in Duluth.