Congratulations, graduates!

Congratulations to everyone graduating from high school, college and vocational school!

All of the long hours and hard work have paid off and I salute you for the effort you have put into reaching this great milestone.

This is a time to celebrate your wonderful achievement, reflect on what got you here and look forward to what your future holds. As Mark Twain once said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

For many of you, the next step will be job hunting. Finding a job will take time and effort, but by utilizing the right tools, finding a career can be made easier. There are many programs throughout the state that offer useful services for those looking for a new job. Among them are the ISEEK program (iseek.org) and Minnesota Works (minnesotaworks.net).

Those that would like to speak to someone face to face about job opportunities can visit their county Minnesota Workforce Center. There they can find career assessments, training and placement services. The Ramsey County-North Saint Paul Workforce Center is located at 2098 11th Ave. E. N St. Paul (651-779-5666) and the Washington County-Woodbury Workforce Center is located at 2150 Radio Drive in Woodbury (651-275-8650).

You hold the key to a bright future for us with the use of your talents, capabilities and energy. As you transition into the next phase of life, I offer you these words of advice:

• Maintain a positive attitude.

• Never give up ~ believe in yourself.

• Enjoy life ~ make people happy.

• Pursue your dreams with vigor.

• Respect others.

• Never forget those who love you.

Again, my congratulations for a job well done! I also want to thank the parents, friends, relatives, loved ones and teachers that have been there for the graduates as they worked towards graduation day.

As always, please contact me with questions or suggestions about any issue. Please visit my Senate website at senate.mn/senatorwiger. I also encourage you to visit me at the Capitol, or let me know if you'd like me to stop by your home or apartment. Also, please tune in to my local cable TV show, "Your Capitol: What's Up?" which appears on public access channels 15 and 16.