Gov. Walz highlights state investments in nursing home workforce

Touring a nursing facility in Roseville, MN
Touring a nursing facility in Roseville, MN(Quinn Gorham)
Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 7:44 PM CDT
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ROSEVILLE, Minn. (KTTC) – Thursday, Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) continued a statewide tour meant to highlight investments in the workforce, this time stopping by a nursing home training center in Roseville.

The Governor has already highlighted investments in education, manufacturing, and public safety on the tour, all industries that will benefit from DEED’s “Drive for Five” program.

The program aims to bolster 5 of the largest industries in the state through workforce investments.

“We created that program where we were able to give them some dollars to be able to do [meet those needs], bringing down the barriers so they can enter the workforce,” said Walz.

Walz explained that in his eyes, nursing homes and critical care need investments to secure better staffing.

“It all comes down to those caregivers. Making sure that we’re getting folks in the door so that they can find a fulfilling career, make a living, and they can get quality training for what they want to do. [We want to] make Minnesota a place where people want to live,” said the Governor.

While some investments were made during the legislative session to help nursing homes meet growing demand and new challenges, it wasn’t until the final days of the legislative session that $300 million dollars was allocated to state nursing homes.

Republicans in the Senate withheld a vote on a bonding bill for months, pining for tax cuts and funding for nursing homes. In the final days of the session, the two parties struck a deal, where Republicans would pass the bonding bill if the DFL included funding for nursing.

Asked if the funding could have happened sooner or without a push from the GOP, Walz wasn’t exactly clear in his answer.

“We knew we were going to fund this. We knew this was a priority for us. We had the CNA programs that we put out,” said Walz, “Part of this is the art of letting people get off the ledge, and whatever it took to get the Republicans on board, I was certainly for it.”