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Minnesota DEED awards $2.2 million in workforce development

(The Center Square) – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has announced 13 workforce development grants totaling nearly $2.2 million.

These grants were awarded by the Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership (MJSP) board on Oct. 25th.

“This program helps us strengthen our workforce and fill vacancies by giving Minnesotans the skills they need to grow in their careers,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement. “Now more than ever, partnerships like these between the public and private sector will help advance our workforce to help businesses grow and thrive.”

Here’s how it works: First, businesses meet with an accredited educational institution to explain their training needs and learn about options; after the two groups have agreed upon how to meet the business’s training needs, the educational institution contacts DEED to determine grant eligibility.

The next application deadline is Jan. 24, and grants will be awarded at the March 7 MJSP meeting.

The following grants were awarded in October:

Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Choice Bank, $49,759

Anoka-Ramsey Community College is partnering with Choice Bank to provide 49 of its employees with Value Stream Mapping (VSM).

Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Toy’n Around, $49,269

Toy’n Around (TNA) has more than doubled its employment in the last two years, creating a need to train its new staff in the TNA business system. TNA is partnering with Anoka-Ramsey Community College to provide training to 22 of its employees.

Century College, Delkor Systems, $49,903

Dellkor recently purchased new Enterprise Resource Planning software to meet the demands of its expanding business. They are partnering with Century College to retrain its 220 employees with the new software so they can respond to customer needs without experiencing major disruptions in production.

Minnesota State Community and Technical College, DENCO II, $30,632

DENCO II is partnering with Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Morris to provide its workers with training focused on leadership essentials, maintenance and business technology. The program will train a total of 24 employees in a range of courses including things like Maintenance and Operator Skills and Business Technology training.

South Central College, Precision Press Inc., $49,998

Precision Press Inc. is partnering with South Central College in North Mankato to provide mentorship, team integration, and job training for 63 workers that will allow them to more quickly upskill new workers.

Central Lakes College, Polaris Corporation and Power Lodge, $349,094

This training will be provided to 169 people, 89 of whom are current Polaris and Power Lodge employees. The project will integrate an automated vehicle curriculum into Central Lakes College’s Marine and Powersports diploma program and connect students with on-the-job training opportunities.

Century College, Rise Baking Company, $168,764

Rise Baking Company is partnering with Century College to train 237 of its employees in basic skills for food manufacturers. This new course will include food manufacturing, an introduction to programmable logic controls, and lean manufacturing concepts.

Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College, Sappi, $300,000

Sappi is currently experiencing an increase in turnover due to the retirement of its more senior workers. This project will capture and formalize the knowledge of these senior maintenance employees in a structured and sustainable form that will be utilized to train newer, less experienced employees.

Minnesota State University – Mankato, Christensen Farms, $300,000

Christensen Farms is partnering with Minnesota State University – Mankato to provide language, communication and leadership training to its 858-person-workforce. Training will help prep its leadership team and staff for their growing number of non-English speaking workers.

Riverland Community College, Bio-Plastic Solutions, $170,554

Riverland Community College and Bio-Plastic Solutions will partner to provide 43 employees training designed to adapt them to new product lines. Employees who complete trainings can earn certificates in OSHA 110, American Heart Association CPR and MSSC Production Technician Certification.

St. Cloud State University, Eye-Kraft, $278,442

Eye-Kraft is a St. Cloud ophthalmic laboratory that manufactures eyeglasses and accessories for eye care providers. Eye-Kraft is partnering with St. Cloud State University to train 102 of its workers to close a skills gap. Those who complete the training will be eligible to take the American Board of Opticianry National Opticianry Competency Exam.

St. Cloud State University, Sand Companies, Inc., $250,000

St. Cloud State University and Sand Companies Inc. are partnering to train 130 of Sand Companies workers. The training is a custom jointly-developed program that will include four tracts and is expected to increase employee retention and advancement.

Century College, Absolute Quality Manufacturing Inc., $234,488

Absolute Quality Manufacturing will use this training to improve customer satisfaction and increase production. They will work with Century College to train 86 employees in basic manufacturing and assembly skills.

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