Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Funds to help veterans get jobs and lend a hand to working parents
Washington, D.C.-U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced today nearly $7 million in federal funding for Minnesota projects as part of the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education section of the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2009. During these difficult economic times, these projects will provide support and assistance to working families and veterans.
To help support working families, Senator Klobuchar fought for and secured $95,000 for the City of St. Paul's Second Shift Initiative. The Second Shift Initiative helps working families by using city libraries, parks and recreation centers to provide daily tutoring, mentoring and organized activities to St. Paul students after school hours, weekends and during the summer, spring and winter breaks.
"This funding provides young people and families with a critical resource," said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. "The Second Shift Initiative provides young people quality learning opportunities that extend the learning day in a safe, positive atmosphere. This funding will make the difference for thousands of families in Saint Paul-a difference made possible because of Senator Klobuchar's ability to deliver for Saint Paul kids."
"As a county prosecutor I saw firsthand the importance of keeping kids off the streets," said Klobuchar. "This innovative program is a great example of Minnesotans creating common sense solutions to give our kids the resources and education they need to achieve success, while also supporting working families in this tough economy."
Klobuchar also secured nearly $1 million to help veterans compete for jobs. This reintegration program will help veterans integrate back into civilian life by continuing a successful statewide initiative that ensures veterans receive the college credit equivalent to their military training-removing the barriers that many veterans encounter when returning to civilian life.
Specifically, the project will give special attention to younger veterans and those who are medically discharged or disabled. Additionally, the initiative will make it possible for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the state Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and Veterans Affairs representatives and counselors to coordinate closely so they better serve veterans interested in pursuing a higher education degree and customize programs to meet veterans' needs.
"There wasn't a waiting line when our brave men and women in uniform signed up to serve and there shouldn't be one when they return home," said Klobuchar. "This funding will help make sure our veterans get the education and training they need to reenter the work force, find good-paying jobs and return home to their families."
Klobuchar also secured $95,000 for an investigation into the health effects suffered by Minnesota miners. The funding provides digital x-ray equipment for Virginia Regional Medical Center's ongoing investigation, led by the University of Minnesota, to research whether the taconite fibers the miners have been subject to have contributed to cancer.
"Iron Range miners have been the backbone of Northeastern Minnesota's economy for decades," noted Klobuchar. "We owe it to them to investigate what has caused many of them to develop health problems, and make sure they get the care they deserve."
Other funding secured by Klobuchar and contained in the bill include funding for a biomedical research institute in Austin, Minnesota, affiliated with the University of Minnesota, and funding for a statewide pediatric telemedicine system to increase rural access to specialized pediatric care.
The full list of Minnesota initiatives funded in the Omnibus bill includes: The Second Shift Initiative, a City of St. Paul program that helps students succeed in school by providing tutoring, mentoring and other resources for after-school programs, funded at $100,000. A veterans' re-entry program coordinated by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU) to help returning soldiers attend college, funded at $1,000,000. Digital x-ray equipment for the Virginia Regional Medical Center in Virginia, Minnesota, for a health investigation of northeastern Minnesota miners, funded at $95,000. An International Center of Research Technology, known as the "Hormel Institute,' located in Austin, Minnesota and affiliated with the University of Minnesota, to develop biomedical technology, funded at $323,000. A statewide system to increase rural access to specialized pediatric care using eHealth and telemedicine, established by Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, funded at $238,000. The Prevention Pays Initiative at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Wabasha to expand preventive health services such as chronic disease management and worksite wellness initiatives, funded at $181,000. A rural health technology initiative through the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, funded at $238,000. Renovation and construction at the HealthEast Care System in St. Paul to expand the St. Joseph's Hospital Emergency Department, funded at $309,000. Expansion of the Sheriffs Youth Programs of Minnesota, including foster care services expenses and related expenses for foster care services, funded at $200,000. Expansion of T5: Teachers Teaching Teachers Through Technology to increase and upgrade professional development programs and communications technology for St. Mary's University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN funded at $228,000. Additional funding for technology upgrades at St. Mary's University, Minneapolis funded at $190,000. Teacher professional development at the Minnesota Humanities Center in St. Paul funded at $95,000 and at St. Mary's in Winona, funded at $228,000. Curriculum development and programs focused on biomedical device manufacturing at Anoka Ramsey Community College funded at $238,000. Nurse education programs at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, funded at $466,000. Health clinic renovation and health care equipment for the Bois Forte Tribal Council in Tower, funded at $285,000. Facility funds and equipment funds for Fairview Health Services in St. Paul, funded at $285,000. Facility funds and equipment funds for Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, funded at $285,000. Facility funds and equipment funds for Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, funded at $190,000. Funding for construction, renovation and equipment for the Southwestern Mental Health Center, Inc., in Luverne, funded at $190,000. A digital X-Ray machine for the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, funded at $238,000. A PCR system for the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, funded at $381,000. Health care facility funds and health care equipment funds for the Vinland National Center, Independence, funded at $190,000 and funds for treating substance abuse and parenting treatment services at $95,000. Retirement community programs for Jewish Family Services in St. Paul funded at $238,000. Funding for literary projects and writing projects authorizes by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Exhibits and education programs at Duluth's Children's Museum, funded at $381,000.