Amanda Maass is a childcare provider and involved with Kids Count On Us, a worker center dedicated to worker organizing and legislative protections for the essential workers.

Iron Range Childcare Worker on Organizing for Better Care for Children

The mines of the Mesabi Iron Range gleam red under the light covering of snow that remains after a historically warm winter in northern Minnesota. Hibbing, a mining town of around 16 thousand people, bustles with industry. And in any town with working people, you’ll find the working people who make all other industries possible: the childcare workers. 

Iron Range Tykes, a small childcare center in Mountain Iron, Minn., sits on a small hill just off Minnesota State Highway 33. There’s a fenced-in playground and a full parking lot. Amanda Maass, 34, a long-time childcare worker, has worked there for the past three years.

John See in his office at the University of Minnesota.

An Interview with John See: Labor Historian and Video Innovator on Nearly 40 Years of Service to the Minnesota Labor Movement

In October 2023, John See worked his last day at the Labor Education Service (LES) after a 39 year tenure. His office was a treasure trove of Minnesota union history—adorned with vintage Teamsters trucker hats, retro pins from the 70s, and a constant stack of VHS tapes digitizing onto one of the half dozen monitors where he was often seen fervently editing videos and coordinating audio visual work for major conventions. While See’s office may be cleared from the nearly four decades of ephemera, his legacy and dedication to Minnesota’s labor movement continues. 

See concluded his career with a massive, archival project. He digitized thousands of tapes of the public access program, Minnesota at Work, which aired from 1984 into the early 2000s, featuring workers speaking about their lives and working conditions, working with Randy Croce, Howard Kling, and the late Martin Duffy. Along with Minnesota at Work, many different kinds of programs have been archived.