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Star Tribune: Stimulus Adds Jobs in Minnesota.

A new report from the Office of Management and Budget estimates that 20,100 jobs had been saved or created in the state using federal stimulus money, reports the Star Tribune. Minnesota is expected to recieve $4.7 billion dollars in federal stimulus money, of which $1.6 billion of that money has already been spent.

From new dishwashers for the Albert Lea School District to a new counterterrorism police force to patrol buses and trains, federal stimulus money is pouring in to Minnesota and has directly preserved or created 11,800 jobs so far, state officials reported Monday.

The state’s first comprehensive report on how federal stimulus money is affecting Minnesota showed that while much of the money is going to unemployment benefits and medical assistance payments, millions of dollars are flowing in to projects and programs that range from rebates to consumers who buy energy-efficient appliances to services for the blind.

One project, totaling $5.59 million, will build living quarters at Camp Ripley, the longtime military training base in north-central Minnesota, and install backup power and heating systems at many of the 63 National Guard armories scattered across the state. Nearly $470,000 will go to replace a bridge over the St. Francis River in central Minnesota.

"The block layers were waiting for this job to get going so they could get back to work," said Jim Kuechle, the co-owner of a construction company in Cold Spring, which got a contract to build an addition and re-roof a service building at the National Guard armory in Willmar. "They didn’t have any other job going. … It kept those guys working."

The Minnesota Management and Budget Office, which released the preliminary figures, said programs administered by the state will receive $4.7 billion in federal stimulus funding. As of Sept. 30, the office reported, state agencies had spent $1.6 billion of that money. Among the jobs saved or created by stimulus funds: 5,942 education-related jobs and 1,200 public safety and medical spots.

Preliminary estimates also show that, when adding jobs that were indirectly created, 20,100 total jobs had been preserved or created in Minnesota using federal stimulus money.

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