ST. CLOUD (WJON News) - It was a full house at the St. Cloud City Hall Tuesday for a special joint meeting of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce and the St. Cloud Rotary.

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Matt Varilek, the current Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, was at the meeting with a presentation called “Delivering for Minnesota – With Help From the Rotary”. His talk centered around the stresses, and strengths, of Minnesota’s business climate.

We are pleased with a lot of economic strengths at the moment. We talk about some of the economic data that we see which shows continued strong growth in jobs, (and) continued strong growth in overall economic output. We have a strong and structurally diverse economy with a variety of sectors where we are innovative and provide a lot of leadership.

However, Varilek is quick to mention that businesses find themselves struggling to meet demand for their product.

(We) want to address some of the challenges including the fact that when you have lower unemployment than the national average, we're at 3.1% versus 3.7%, which reflects strength. But it's also a challenge when you have employers with more demand for goods and services and talent than they can meet.

This was a homecoming of sorts for Varilek, he’s a current resident of Benton County and was a long-time member of the St. Cloud Rotary.

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