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Readers’ Views

Feehan can connect

To the Editor:

Curiosity, compassion and connection. These are characteristics we should all be looking for in a congressional representative. Someone who is curious about issues and people’s lives, and is driven to learn more about both. Someone who has compassion for all individuals and will work to make their lives better. Someone who has the ability to make connections between people, ideas and actions.

Dan Feehan is the clear winner in all three categories. I met Dan two years ago in St. Peter. He articulated a vision of the kind of a world I want my kids to grow up in, and I remember thinking that I would be proud to have represent me.

Dan has already served his country as a soldier, teacher and leader of a team working to prevent veteran suicide. You can tell that these experiences inform his concern for people from all areas of southern Minnesota.

And Dan really does care. When a student of mine passed away, he immediately reached out and asked how he could help. And when my friend’s community farm, which provides fresh produce for local food pantries, needed help with harvesting, Dan rolled up his sleeves and went to work. This impulse – “How can I help?” – should be at the core of anyone who seeks to represent their district.

If southern Minnesotans value helping their neighbors in tough times, I can’t think of anyone better to represent southern Minnesota.

In the face of so much cruelty and ignorance on display these days, it feels good to support Dan Feehan, someone with the strength, integrity and skills to make life better for everyday Minnesotans.

Yurie Hong

St. Peter

Hagedorn bill helpful

To the Editor:

I am writing to commend and thank Congressman Jim Hagedorn for introducing legislation expanding eligibility for 529 educational savings plans to help address the growing shortage of skilled trade workers.

Talk to any manufacturer or owner of a construction company and they will quickly tell you that one of their greatest challenges is the lack of trained “blue collar” workers. The booming economy has made this shortage even more severe.

Rep. Hagedorn’s bipartisan bill (co-introduced with Rep. Van Drew, D-N.J.) would make significantly more vocational training programs eligible for individuals with tax-free 529 plans. Allowing people to spend more of their own pre-tax money on vocational training by putting them on the same level as two- and four-year college degrees is an important first step toward lessening the current shortage of skilled laborers.

Thank you, Rep. Hagedorn, for being willing to ignore all the partisan bickering in D.C. and reach across the aisle to address a real problem in our district and across the country.

Aaron Farris

Albert Lea

Firms open doors

To the Editor:

The South Central Workforce Council exists to aid employers in finding skilled workers and to help individuals locate good, stable jobs in our south-central region of the state.

One of the most phenomenal ways to match employers and potential team members is to bring them together in the actual workplace. This is precisely what happens during the Tour of Manufacturing event.

This year, we are so grateful to Kahler Automation, 3M and Zierke Built Manufacturing in Fairmont; Valero in Welcome; and Everidge in Winnebago, all of whom graciously opened their operations for tours on Oct. 3 and Oct. 5.

Many area residents and high school students were able to actually observe the magnitude and precision of these state-of-the-art manufacturers. Thank you for opening your doors and sharing the interesting work that you do.

Deb Barnes, chairwoman

South Central Workforce Council

and

Diane Halvorson, executive director

South Central Workforce Council

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