Jobs and Economy

Senator Smith is committed to fighting for more jobs and building a stronger economy, one that works for everyone so businesses grow and workers get better jobs with better pay, and so we can invest in infrastructure and manufacturing. Sen. Smith wants to address college affordability and expand career and workforce training for young people who don’t go to a four-year college.

Despite the fact that the economy is rebounding, too many Minnesota families struggle to make ends meet, face a job loss, or grapple with a shrinking pay check. Sen. Smith believes that in order to build an economy that works for everyone, we need a fairer tax code that supports working families, not just the wealthiest of Americans. We need paid family and medical leave for workers so that parents can stay home to take care of a newborn or a sick a family member without losing a paycheck. We need to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to close the pay gap between men and women. We need fair trade policies that help Minnesota workers, businesses, and farmers get ahead, and we need to crack down on foreign countries that break international trade rules and put American workers out of jobs. We need to hold Wall Street accountable and make sure they don’t cause another economic collapse. We need to invest in small businesses and support entrepreneurs. And we need to help foster the next generation of Minnesota innovators by investing in research and development.

As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Sen. Smith will build on Minnesota’s proud history of invention and creativity by supporting our classrooms, students, and our workforce. And, as a member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Sen. Smith will be standing up for consumers, working to ensure fair access to financial services for all Americans, and working to improve the availability of safe, decent, and affordable housing.

Latest Releases

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Leads 29 Colleagues in Push for Robust Rural Housing Funding

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) led 29 of her Senate colleagues in a push for more funding for rural housing programs in the FY2025 Appropriations bill. In their letter, the Senators noted that rural communities saw only a 1.7% increase in the number of housing units between 2010 and 2020, with almost half of states seeing a decrease in the number of rural units. According to the Minnesota Housing Partnership, every county in Minnesota has a shortage of affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income households. 79% of counties have a shortage that exceeds 100 homes, and 31% have a shortage exceeding 500 homes. “Without a safe, decent, affordable place to call home, nothing in your life works – not your job, your health, your education or your family,” said Senator Smith. “While the housing crisis is hurting communities across the country, the burden has been especially hard on small towns and rural communities. The severe shortage of affordable housing is hurting rural America’s ability to prosper, and it is imperative we direct more funding to address this housing shortage and finally bring our communities some relief.  “Against this backdrop, federal rural housing programs have shrunk to the point that only about 3,500 direct loans are available for low-income families to purchase or build their own home, the lowest level since 1957. Funding to preserve rental and farm labor housing is meager by any standard and by no means adequate to provide new housing opportunities or preserve existing housing resources,” wrote the Senators. “In the coming years, the number of maturing Section 515 mortgages will

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Announces $1.2 Million in Federal Funding to Support Training, Employment Services to Young People; Increase Apprenticeships in High-Demand Careers in Beltrami and Cass Counties

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) announced a significant investment in the Bi-County Community Action Programs Inc. (BI-CAP) in Bemidji to empower young workers and strengthen the workforce in the region. Totaling $1,242,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the grant will support training and employment services critical for preparing young people to secure well-paying jobs in high-demand industries. This is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s ongoing effort to expand access to apprenticeship opportunities and prepare young workers for quality jobs and strengthen the nation’s workforce to meet industry demands. The grant was provided by the DOL’s YouthBuild Program and prioritized proposals that align training with local infrastructure projects funded by the Biden-Harris administration’s Investing in America agenda. “Access to education and training is critical for young people to gain the skills needed to fill high-demand, good-paying jobs. By expanding access to pre-apprenticeship programs like YouthBuild, we are ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to thrive and contribute to their communities,” said Sen. Smith. “This federal funding will boost BI-CAP’s ability to support young people, workers and drive economic growth across Beltrami and Cass Counties.” BI-CAP was established in 1966 as part of the national war on poverty and is one of approximately 1,000 community action programs nationwide that make up the service delivery arm of the federal Office of Community Services. They serve Beltrami and Cass counties with the following programs: early childhood education, housing, weatherization, energy assistance, and youth education/employment services. The $1.2 million grant will support the

U.S. Senators Tina Smith, Amy Klobuchar: New Report Confirms Postal Service Management Failures in Northern Minnesota

BEMIDJI, MN – Following a request from U.S. Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar (both D-Minn.), the United States Postal Service Inspector General launched an audit and released a comprehensive report on mail delivery issues in Northern Minnesota. The report’s findings underscored the need for serious changes at the Postal Service, including reforms included in the Senators’ bipartisan Postal Delivery Accountability Act.  “When the mail is unreliable, it hurts Minnesotans, especially those who rely on the Postal Service to pay bills and receive paychecks and prescriptions.   Yet when I ask the Postal Service for information on these disruptions, they insist everything is fine. This report confirmed what I’ve heard from Minnesotans

U.S. Senators Tina Smith, Amy Klobuchar Announce Clean Energy Support for Three Minnesota Tribes

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tina Smith, a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and Amy Klobuchar (both D-Minn.) announced federal funding to connect Tribal homes to clean electricity, including homes previously not connected to electricity at all. Minnesota Tribes selected for funding include Prairie Island Indian Community, Red Lake Nation and Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. The grants are made possible by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which Senators Smith and Klobuchar both supported. “For generations, Native communities have been hurt by underinvestment and underfunding of basic infrastructure. Our transition to a clean energy economy can’t leave Indian Country behind,” said Senator Smith. “This funding gets us closer to ensuring every household in Minnesota,

U.S. Senator Tina Smith and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez Introduce Legislation to Protect Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence from Economic Abuse

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Today, Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) introduced the Survivor Financial Safety and Inclusion Working Group Act, a bill aimed at increasing support for survivors of intimate partner violence within the financial system.  The bill would create an interagency working group comprised of the federal financial regulators and relevant stakeholders, including a representative of historically underserved communities. The working group would be tasked with collecting data on the impacts of economic abuse of survivors carried out through regulated financial institutions. The working group would also provide recommendations on how Congress and federal regulators can help financial institutions

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith Announce Significant Federal Infrastructure Funding for Bemidji Regional Airport

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced they secured significant federal funding for the expansion of Bemidji Regional Airport’s Passenger Terminal. The grant provides $261,250 to expand the passenger terminal, which will address current concerns regarding security checkpoints and congestion throughout the terminal. The grant is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. “Bemidji Regional Airport needs to expand its passenger terminal to operate safely and efficiently,” said Klobuchar. “This funding builds on the other federal grants we secured to improve the security checkpoint and extend the life of the runway so that the airport can continue to