During the last week, Gov. Tim Walz traveled to Norway, congratulated a departing commissioner and announced the open selection process for the cabinet vacancy and made some appointments to boards and committees in the administration.
On Feb. 13, Walz traveled to Norway to build upon Minnesota and Norway’s strong military and economic ties.
“Amid global uncertainty, maintaining close relationships with our allies is more important than ever,” Walz. “I am proud of Minnesota’s long standing military exchange program with Norway and am committed to building on this unique and exceptional relationship during this visit and for years to come. These international trips help tell Minnesota’s story on an international stage, promoting Minnesota business and strengthening our military ties.”
During the business development mission in Oslo, Norway, Walz promoted Minnesota as a premier destination for trade and investment. The governor’s trip comes after Minnesota’s exports reached an all-time high last year.
“Minnesota’s workforce is well-trained, highly productive and experienced in delivering solutions across the U.S. and the world – and we aren’t slowing down,” said Walz. “From clean energy to medical technology, there are incredible opportunities to expand our business partnership with Norway while creating jobs and boosting trade and investment. I am grateful for the opportunity to tell Minnesota’s story and further strengthen our economic ties with our friends in Norway.”
Walz was also honored by a royal audience with His Majesty King Harald V and later held meetings with Norwegian business leaders and government officials. The governor also attended a business promotion luncheon for European companies looking to expand in Minnesota, highlighting the strength and diversity of the state’s economy and business ecosystem.
In the evening, Walz attended a reception in Oslo celebrating opportunities in trade and investment, academic and cultural exchanges. The reception was attended by government officials, businesses, academic alumni and Minnesotans living in Norway.
According to the administration, the State Partnership Program has made tremendous strides since its inception in 1993. The program has grown from a small number of partnerships with former Soviet and Warsaw Pact countries in Europe into a program that spans the globe in contributing to the security cooperation goals of the United States and its partners. All 54 State National Guards have at least one partnership. The Minnesota Guard has shared a partnership with Croatia for 27 years, and Norway will become another partner through this program.
On Feb. 14, Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan congratulated departing commissioner Steve Grove and thanked him for his years of service at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
“Commissioner Grove has truly exemplified what it means to be a public servant and advocate for the state of Minnesota,” said Walz. “He led Minnesota’s workers and businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic, made Minnesota’s economy one of the strongest in the country and promoted Minnesota as a player on the global stage. Through his work with the Council on Economic Expansion, he has created a roadmap to guide the state’s work for years to come. Grove’s leadership and expertise has left a lasting impact on our state.”
“We will greatly miss Commissioner Grove’s tenacity, leadership, and strategic vision,” said Flanagan. “By expanding access to high-speed broadband and affordable child care and making historic investments in BIPOC-owned businesses, Grove has built a more equitable and inclusive economy for Minnesotans across the state. He truly turned the vision of making Minnesota the best state to live, work and raise a family – no matter your income, race, or zip code – into action. We are better off thanks Grove’s work and I know he will be successful in his next role.”
On Feb. 15, Walz declared a peacetime emergency and authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide emergency relief services for stranded motorists in Clay County after heavy snowfall and strong winds created blizzard conditions across western and northwestern Minnesota.
On Feb 17, Walz announced appointments to the Board of Social Work, Explore Minnesota Tourism Council, Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee and State Board of Physical Therapy.