The Employment and Economic Development Department (DEED) was created in July 2003 with the merger of the former Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development (DTED) and the Minnesota Department of Economic Security (MDES).
The agency was originally created in 1977 as a merger of the former Departments of Employment Services and Vocational Rehabilitation, the Governor's Manpower Office, and the Economic Opportunity Office, which administered anti-poverty programs. In 1985, State Services for the Blind joined the department, which was renamed the Department of Jobs and Training.
The original name, Minnesota Department of Economic Security, was restored in 1994 by the legislature since it fully reflected the role, mission, and responsibility of the agency.
Minnesota's first economic development agency - the Department of Business Research and Development - was created in 1947 and also has undergone several legislative reorganizations. Its name changes include the Department of Business Development in 1953 and the Department of Economic Development in 1967.
A 1981 legislative restructuring included the addition of many community development and energy development programs and it became the Department of Energy, Planning and Development. In 1983, yet another reorganization led to the creation of the Department of Energy and Economic Development.
The agency became known as the Department of Trade and Economic Development in 1987, when the state's international trade activities were returned to the agency's purview and energy programs were transferred to the Department of Public Service. In 2000, legislative action led to the transfer of the Dislocated Worker Programs from MDES to the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Board unit within DTED.
(History information taken from DEED Website 10/15/10.)
Effective July 1, 2003, the name of the Department of Trade and Economic Development is changed to the Department of Employment and Economic Development. (2003 First Special Session Chapter 4)
The legislation that legalized cannabis for adult recreational use in 2023 also established many grant programs. DEED is responsible for three new grant programs: CanStartup, CanNavigate, and CanTrain (see Laws of Minnesota 2023, chapter 63, article 3, sections 1-3).