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Grants available to help employers develop apprenticeships

Employers in five industries are eligible to receive up to $5,000 for each apprentice

Employers are invited to apply for the Minnesota Apprenticeship Initiative (MAI) grant to help them create or expand registered apprenticeship programs in advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care, information technology and transportation.

Approved employers will receive funds to offset their costs related to program development, related instruction and supplies. Employers can receive up to $5,000 for each registered apprentice.

"Apprenticeship is the gold standard to develop skilled employees," said Ken Peterson, commissioner, Department of Labor and Industry (DLI). "The apprenticeship model allows employers to build their business and grow a stronger workforce as they address the challenges of worker skills gaps, growing retirements and talent retention."

"Apprenticeships are a great way for both employers and employees to meet the needs of today's workforce challenges," said Shawntera Hardy, commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). "DEED is excited to partner with DLI in this effort. As we work to fill a historic number of job vacancies in Minnesota, this program gives Minnesota employers a much needed advantage in their search for qualified and skilled workers."

In a recent study by the U.S. Department of Commerce, employers have found that developing talent through registered apprenticeships results in a more dedicated, flexible, and highly skilled workforce that is poised to rise into leadership positions and make employers more competitive. In addition, employers with registered apprenticeships were able to broaden the pool of talent and fill critical vacancies.

"Mount Olivet Rolling Acres has been very excited to be part of the registered apprenticeship/MAI grant this past year," said Wayde Whelan, senior program director at Mount Olivet Rolling Acres. "By participating in this program, we have had the opportunity to provide our apprentices extensive training to further develop their skills. In return, these apprentices have passed that knowledge onto their co-workers, building stronger, more effective teams. The program has expedited developing these staff into promotional opportunities, which has resulted in retaining these highly skilled individuals."

How to apply

Employers can download and submit the grant application. For additional grant information, listen to the MAI webinar.

About the Minnesota Apprenticeship Initiative

The MAI is funded through a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and is administered by DEED in partnership with DLI. From 2015 to 2020, Minnesota is engaging more than 100 employers in developing registered programs to recruit, train and retain 1,000 new apprentices in 30 high-growth occupations.

Currently, the statewide initiative has helped Minnesota employers establish innovative registered apprenticeship programs to build and retain their future workforce, including Fairview Health Services, Alliance Machining, Pequot Tools and Manufacturing, Mt. Olivet Rolling Acres, and CentraCare.

Contact Carrie Fink, MAI project manager, with questions about the grant at (651) 259-7252 or via e-mail at


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