Between 2013 and 2016, Matt Schmit served as vice chair of the MN State Senate Rural Development Committee and as a member of the Senate Economic Development Finance Committee. In this capacity, Matt championed a wide array of legislation as part of his ‘regional competitiveness’ package. This work included:
- Creation of Minnesota’s Office of Broadband Development and national-leading ‘Border-to-Border Broadband’ competitiveness grant program, which has extend the reach of essential high-speed internet to approximately 50,000 Minnesota homes and businesses throughout the state.
- Improvement in workforce development, housing, and childcare
- Increased alignment among Minnesota employer needs, colleges and tech programs, and high school curricula
- Data center and tech job attraction through smart policy and strong incentives
- Providing a 30-year retake on Minnesota’s successful ‘Rural Development Act of 1987’ to include new funding and incentives for increased regional collaboration and efficiency.
Given the strong connection between economic development and energy production, Matt was proud to represent Minnesota on the Nuclear Energy Work Group — which consisted of legislators throughout the country organized by the National Conference of State Legislatures. In addition, Matt served on NCSL’s Commerce Committee.
Outside the legislature, Matt has worked on a variety of projects in community and economic development through his work at the University of Minnesota and as a private consultant. This work has included:
- Coalition building for infrastructure investment and public-private partnership
- Successful project management and grant writing
- Study of workforce needs and alignment, industry cluster and agglomeration impacts, and public-private sector leadership
- Active membership in the Harvard Business School ‘Microeconomics of Competitiveness’ professional network
This work also included service on various boards, including: the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) board; the Blandin Foundation broadband strategy board; and the Saint John’s University Board of Regents.