Webcast Series for Retirement and Health Plan Sponsors Mar 14, 16 and 21

Webcast Series for Retirement and Health Plan Sponsors

Operating an employee benefit plan can be challenging, especially for small and medium sized employers who have limited time, resources, and access to professional help with benefit programs.  To help increase awareness and understanding about basic fiduciary responsibilities when operating a retirement or health benefit plan, the Department of Labor is presenting the Getting It Right – Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities webcast series.

The webcast series will help employers and service providers understand how the fiduciary responsibility provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) apply to employer-sponsored retirement and health plans, and provide information on how to avoid common problems in managing a plan.

  • Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 2:00 pm ET / 11:00am PT
  • Thursday, March 16, 2017, 2:00 pm ET / 11:00am PT
  • Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 2:00 pm ET / 11:00am PT

Register here

 

Essay Contest for students celebrating the MN State Capitol

You could be a winner

Grand Opening Essay Contest / Minnesota Capitol Restoration

The post-restoration opening of the historic Minnesota State Capitol is an opportunity for Minnesotans from every corner of the state and all walks of life to celebrate “My Minnesota Capitol.” As part of the festivities, Minnesota students are asked to consider the following prompts and craft an essay about one of them:

  1. My Minnesota Capitol. Your Minnesota Capitol. Everybody’s Capitol.

    Everyone who works or visits the Capitol uses and views it in different ways. What does the Capitol building mean to you? What do you think it represents for Minnesotans from different backgrounds, and why is it important to remember that the Capitol building is designed for every Minnesotan?

  2. A place to remember history and for history in the making.

    Many historical and symbolic moments have occurred at the State Capitol, and it will be the site of more history-making events in years to come. What is one of the most important events that occurred at the State Capitol? How do you think our state Capitol will continue to serve Minnesota as our state keeps changing, and what do you think might occur at the Capitol that will impact the future of Minnesota?

The essay contest is open to Minnesota elementary, middle and high school students in the following age groupings: Grades 3 – 5, Grades 6 – 8, and Grades 9-12. Entries will be judged by a panel of VIP judges including top policymakers, elected officials and Lt. Governor Tina Smith.  The top essay at each level will be recognized at a program at the state Capitol building on August 12, 2017, where the winning students will be invited to share their essays with their fellow Minnesotans.

Submitting an Essay

Each essay must contain the student’s name, school, home address, phone number and current grade on the front page or cover sheet. Middle and high school entries must be typed in a 12-point font, double-spaced on white 8.5-by-11-inch piece of paper. Elementary school entries may be handwritten. Essays should be 250 words or fewer, and will be judged on creativity, clarity, content and adherence to the theme.

All essays must be received via email or postmarked by April 28, 2017. Emailed entries can be sent to Capitol.essays@state.mn.us. Mailed entries can be mailed to:
Minnesota Department of Administration
c/o Kathy Morgan
50 Sherburne Ave, Suite # 200
Saint Paul, MN 55117

Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith on Women’s History Month in Minnesota

Fun to see women celebrate…                                              

Statements from Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith on “Women’s History Month” in Minnesota

Today marks International Women’s Day, and the national “A Day Without a Woman,” recognizing the great value that women contribute to our economy and society

New national study ranks Minnesota the best state in the nation for women

ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed March to be “Women’s History Month” in the State of Minnesota. While women’s history should be celebrated and studied throughout the year, this is a time to observe the role women have played in shaping Minnesota’s history, and the critical role all women play in shaping our state’s future.

Today’s proclamation comes as WalletHub recently released a new national study ranking Minnesota the best state in the nation for women. The study also ranks Minnesota 1st in the nation for Women’s Economic and Social Well-Being, and 5th for Women’s Health Care and Safety. You can read the WalletHub report by clicking here.

The following is a statement from Governor Mark Dayton:

“During Women’s History Month, I urge all Minnesotans to reflect on the significant achievements that have been made by women in our state, and across our country. These rankings from WalletHub underscore the great progress we have made. But our work is not done. We must continue to stand up for equality and inclusion at all levels in our state, including equal pay for equal work, protecting reproductive rights and access to health care, charting the course for paid parental leave, and expanding economic opportunity for all women in Minnesota.”

Today also marks International Women’s Day, and the national “A Day Without a Woman,” recognizing the great value that women contribute to our economy and society.

The following is a statement from Lt. Governor Tina Smith:

“On January 21, 2017, I marched in St. Paul with almost 100,000 men and women for our shared values: freedom, independence, and opportunity for everyone. Today, we take the next step. ‘A Day Without a Woman’ reminds us that every day, 2,727,005 Minnesota women do their jobs, take care of their families, and make our communities work. Our economy, our schools, and our communities ought to work for women as well as women work for us.”

You can read Governor Dayton’s proclamation here.

About Women’s History Month

In 1981, Congress passed a law requesting the President to proclaim a National Women’s History Week. For the next five years, Congress continuously passed this law in order to designate this week in March as National Women’s History Week. After great advocacy efforts and a petition from the National Women’s History Project in 1987, the United States Congress declared the month of March as National Women’ s History Month. A special Presidential Proclamation has been issued every year since 1995 to honor the achievements of American women. You can learn more here.

Zero Energy Schools Accelerator program now available in Minnesota

News from Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERT)…

Minnesota and California along with six school districts and several national organizations are implementing partners in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) new Zero Energy Schools Accelerator program, the DOE announced on Dec. 6. The Accelerator is part of the DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative and its ongoing strategy to advance energy efficiency and accelerate the market adoption of Zero Energy Buildings.

On average, Zero Energy Schools can use 65% to 80% less energy than conventionally constructed schools, while the remaining energy required is supplied by renewable energy. This significantly reduces utility costs, often amounting to more than $100,000 per year. To help schools realize these savings, DOE and its supporting organizations will work with the implementing partners and help them develop a road map for Zero Energy Schools.

The Accelerator goals include:

  • Identify strategies to overcome market barriers related to building Zero Energy Schools;
  • Share solutions, resources, and technologies that help schools achieve zero energy goals;
  • Develop replicable road maps to build Zero Energy Schools; and
  • Increase visibility and replication of best practice approaches and successful models.

Commerce leads Minnesota’s Accelerator effort: The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources will be Minnesota’s collaborating partner on the Accelerator effort. It will identify one or more K-12 school projects appropriate for pursuing zero energy goals and will prepare a road map to outline key zero energy design parameters and address barriers to achieving zero energy. Lindsay Wimmer, Energy Project Manager for the Division of Energy Resources, is the Commerce contact person for the Accelerator program. Commerce recently became a member of the Minnesota Green Schools Coalition, a network of the state’s strongest advocates leading the charge for healthy learning environments for our children while inspiring environmental stewardship in students of all ages.

Learn more:

Kennedy’s Bakery for Sale – looking for a baker/owner to keep this treasure in Western MN

Kennedy’s Bakery is for sale!  This 39 year successful Bakery is a main stay in our community and we would like to retain the bakery because it is the only available bakery in our county and one of the very few in the five county region in South Western Minnesota.bakery 1

Are you an aspiring baker or do you know an aspiring baker that is looking for a great opportunity to own and operate your own bakery?  This bakery is a great opportunity for you!  It is nestled on Main Street in downtown Madison, MN.

For Sale: Kennedy’s Bakery

Well established, full line retail bakery in rural Minnesota. 

  • We offer a wide range of products including fresh baked bread, buns, rolls, danish, donuts, lefse, cookies, cupcakes, pies, cakes and decorated items. 
  • Many seasonal products including rosettes, holiday cookies, and home-made candies. 
  • Specialty items include cinnamon bread, mocha bars and decorated cakes. 
  • Annual sales are $300,000+ with room for growth. 
  • 65% retail sales and 35% wholesale. 
  • Accounts include grocery stores, nursing homes, and restaurants. 
  • This is a well-supported, profitable business. 
  • We have been in operation for 39 years. 
  • Excellent opportunity for someone who wants to be self-employed
  • Business, Building and all Commercial Equipment lock, stock and barrel.
  • Turn-key quality establishment
  • A three bedroom apartment upstairs from the bakery would make an excellent living quarters for the new owner or rent it out for additional income.

Contact us for more info 

MN Pollution Control busts Green Myths

We’re going to give you the myths – you’re going to have to check out the latest MN Pollution Control newsletter for the full story!

  1.  Water-efficient toilets don’t work.
  2. Washing dishes by hand saves water& energy.
  3. Turning your computer on and off wastes energy.
  4. Minnesota has plenty of water, so we don’t need to conserve.
  5. It’s better for the environment to wash your car by hand than at the car wash.
  6. Products labeled as “natural”, “eco-friendly”, or “green” are better for the environment.
  7. Environmentally, paper bags are better than plastic.

Project Stove Swap works to replace old wood burning stoves in Northeast Minnesota

It’s great to learn about programs that are working in other parts Minnesota…

Project Stove Swap is managed by Minnesota nonprofit Environmental Initiative, in partnership with Minnesota Power. The project offers financial incentives for residents, nonprofits and businesses with older wood burning stoves to upgrade. The level of incentive varies based on the type of appliance and income level, but can reach up to $10,000.

Learn more!