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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Employment and Economic Development Department

Also known as:
Active dates:2003 -

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is the state's principal economic development agency, with programs promoting business recruitment, expansion, and retention; workforce development; international trade; and community development. The agency's mission is to support the economic success of individuals, businesses, and communities by improving opportunities for growth.


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).

MDES History:
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.

DTED History:
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).

Agency heads:

Matt Kramer (former DTED Commissioner), June 2003 - April 3, 2006
Dan McElroy, January 2007 - December 2010
Mark Phillips, January 19, 2011 - October 19, 2012
Katie Clark Sieben, October 2012 - April 22, 2016 [Cathy Polasky served on an interim basis when Commissioner Sieben was on maternity leave in 2015]
Shawntera Hardy, April 2016 - January 6, 2019
Steve Grove, January 7, 2019 - March 2, 2023
Kevin McKinnon (interim commissioner), March 2, 2023 - May 25, 2023
Matt Varilek, May 25, 2023 - 

Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
New DEED commissioner shares vision for Minnesota's jobs, economic future. Star Tribune, 7/26/2023.
Governor Walz selects Matt Varilek to serve as Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development. Office of Governor Tim Walz & Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, 5/25/2023.
Star Tribune names Steve Grove, commissioner and ex-Google exec, next publisher. Minnesota Public Radio, 2/14/2023.
News clippings and documents. Agencies Notebook Collection, 2003-2020.
Record last updated: 11/06/2023

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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