Message from Guy Finne, GRAUC Board Chair

When I started my Mayo Clinic career 17 years ago, we studied the projected labor skill shortage.  Today we are living it…the projections became reality.  Southeast Minnesota is in the midst of a labor shortage, with a job seeker-to-vacancy ratio of 0.6 to 1 (for every 10 job openings there are only six unemployed people).  During the last year, SE MN has seen a lower unemployment rate than the state as a whole.  Some of this is cyclical, but, this tightening of the labor force also reflects long-term trends — and it might not end anytime soon.  We need continued economic growth in order to prosper as a region.  Economic growth depends on a qualified workforce for our employers.  Having that qualified workforce will not happen by chance…it will happen through intentional and deliberate efforts.

 Workforce development is now considered to be more than a single program or initiative. It is an interconnected set of solutions to meet employment needs.  This work is best done through public-private collaboration.   GRAUC is the key asset in SE MN for this work to take place among employers, post-secondary education and policy makers.

 Today, GRAUC has a tweaked mission, structure and strategy that will sustain our work moving forward.  Our mission is: 

GRAUC will meet the workforce needs of our region.

 And to achieve this GRAUC:

·         ADVOCATES for quality post-secondary educational programs and outcomes.

·         PROMOTES post-secondary educational opportunities for students to best serve business, education      and the region.

·         CONNECTS post-secondary education with business and industry to further their mutual success.

 Through GRAUC’s newly created Partnership Council, we will expand our employer and post-secondary education membership.   Post-secondary education partners will continue to include our long time public education friends with the addition of private education, the trades, workforce centers, military, etc.   

 Today GRAUC is aligned, connected and ready to be part of the solution.  We look forward to working with all of our partners in our mission to meet the workforce needs of our region.  Please join us!


Guy Finne


GRAUC serves as a catalyst for collaboration, coordination and alignment across all higher education providers.