ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) — Gov. Wlaz and other state officials recognized 23 cities, townships and counties across the state as the first telecommute-friendly communities on Friday, in addition to declaring Aug. 7 as Telecommuter Forward! Day in the State of Minnesota.
The 23 communities have shown a commitment to coordinating and partnering with broadband providers, realtors, economic development professionals, employers, employees and other stakeholders to promote the availability of telecommuting options available in their region.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear how important it is for the state to support telecommuting capabilities,” Walz said. “This initiative will help ensure options for remote work expand in our state, improving the quality of life for employees and encouraging economic vitality in communities throughout Minnesota.”
“We know that more Minnesotans than ever before are telecommuting for work,” said Steve Grove, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). “As we help Minnesota’s economy recover from the pandemic, telecommuter-friendly policies add new opportunities for civic engagement and collaboration among Minnesota’s businesses, entrepreneurs and communities.”
Teleworking has been on the rise for the last few years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has since jumped to nearly 45% in recent months. Data from DEED further suggests that more than 1 million Minnesotans are now doing at least some of their work remotely, accounting for over one-third of Minnesota’s labor force.
The number of workers teleworking was already increasing prior to the pandemic but jumped to nearly 45% in recent months. Data suggests that more than 1 million Minnesotans are now doing at least some work remotely, accounting for well over one-third of Minnesota’s labor force.
The Minnesota State Legislature passed the Telecommuter Forward! Certification in 2019 and Walz signed it into law.
This law says that communities adopt a model of resolution that includes a statement of support for telecommuting a single point of contact for coordinating telecommuting opportunities within their community.
The communities within the KEYC News Now viewing area that were recognized on Friday include the cities of Balaton, Lake Crystal, Madelia, Windom and Martin County.
The information on how to contact a single point of contact for each community can be found in the table below.
Any community that is interested in becoming a Telecommuter Forward! community can find more information and an application on DEED’s website.