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Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Announces 10 New Training Projects

DEED awards $1.5 million in project grants

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) awarded workforce development grants totaling $1.5 million to train 2,919 workers under the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP).

“Over 300,000 Minnesotans have received training funded by the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership program since its inception,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “These training grants upgrade employee skills and effectively make Minnesota businesses more competitive and desirable places to work.”

Under the program, educational institutions and businesses work together to secure MJSP funding. Businesses initially meet with an accredited educational institution to explain their training needs and to learn options. Once they agree on a plan, the educational institution contacts DEED to determine eligibility for a grant.

The following grants were awarded:

Minnesota State College Southeast and Gemini Inc., Cannon Falls – $31,361

Gemini Inc. manufactures dimensional letters, logos and plaques. Twelve employees – three of them new hires – will receive specialized extrusion training to detect, troubleshoot and solve extrusion production line problems and create a customized troubleshooting guide based on industry best practices.

Local contact: Calli Ekblad, Minnesota State College Southeast, 651-385-6320

Minnesota State College Southeast and St. Anne of Winona, Sauer Healthcare and St. Crispin Living Community – $49,182

Minnesota State College Southeast and Winona State University nursing students and instructors will build a new Trained Medication Aides curriculum to assist three long-term health care facilities address their workforce needs. Eighteen trainees will be eligible for pay increases upon successfully completing the program.

Local contact: Calli Ekblad, MN State College Southeast, 651-385-6320

Century College and Trane, White Bear Lake – $49,891

Trane specializes in heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment and services. To keep up with technology and customer expectations, 50 employees will receive training and earn certification in IPC-J Standard, IPC-A-601 and IPC Rework/Repair, and certification in Production and Inventory Management, Electronic Training for Production, and Servant Leadership.

Local contact: Monica Ramirez, Century College, 651-779-3235

Anoka-Ramsey Community College and Alliance Machine, Elk River – $49,795

Alliance Machine, a precision machine shop that specializes in medium to complex CNC machining, will continue to train front-end employees in Effective Communication and Technical Writing, Problem Solving, Strategic Sourcing/Supplier Management, and Project Management. The entire workforce of 50 (six new) will participate in Independent Development Plan Implementation.

Local contact: Matthew Salo, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, 763-422-6116

South Central College and IMC Company – $49,857

IMC Company is a consortium of three manufacturing companies that uses automated production equipment. The companies are Downs Food Group and Dotson Iron Castings, both located in Mankato, and BIC Graphic, Sleepy Eye. Thirty-five employees will receive training that will improve the skills of existing maintenance mechanics and create an educational pathway for developing maintenance mechanics.

Local contact: Tanja Stading, South Central College, 507-625-4868

Summit Academy OIC and Atomic Data, Minneapolis – $191,604

Summit Academy OIC and Atomic Data will launch Atomic Academy, an entry-level IT training program. Fifty trainees will complete the two-phase, 20-week training program in IT fundamentals and specialization. Graduates will interview for Atomic Data positions, and it is anticipated that 30 graduates will be hired.

Local contact: Leroy West, Summit Academy OIC, 612-377-0150

Dakota County Technical College and Shutterfly, Shakopee – $239,974

Shutterfly, supplier of customized online photo albums, digital photographic prints and personalized stationery products, and Dakota County Technical College will create an advanced employee development training program offered to 565 employees (275 current and 290 seasonal). In addition, the college will develop company-specific e-learning modules.

Local contact: Meriem Aman, Dakota County Technical College, 651-423-8612

St. Cloud State University and Park Industries, St. Cloud – $350,000

Park Industries, which is North America’s largest manufacturer of stone working equipment, has 312 skilled workers and plans to add another 60 over the next three years. Park Industries will partner with St. Cloud State University and St. Cloud Technical and Community College to deliver customized training for all current and new employees. The customized training will allow the company to keep pace with its business expansion and maintain its lead in the industry.

Local contact: Tammy Anhalt-Warner, St. Cloud State University, 320-308-4252

St. Cloud State University and New Flyer of America, St. Cloud – $350,000 New Flyer of America manufactures heavy-duty transit buses, parts and components. Customized training will focus on improving processes, procedures, communications and skills. All 1,388 employees – 347 of them new – will receive training in Basic Principles of Business Operations; Introduction to Hoshin Kanri (a lean manufacturing approach); Hoshin Kanri Time Management Level 1; and General Electrical Safety. Select employees will receive additional training in High-Voltage Safety and Hoshin Kanri.

Local contact: Tammy Anhalt-Warner, St. Cloud State University, 320-308-4252

Minnesota State University, Mankato and Nidec, North Mankato – $180,983 Nidec Corp., a global leader in the motor industry, purchased Emerson/Kato Engineering, which employs 379 people who manufacture power generation equipment. Training modules will cover seven main topics: Passion/Challenge for Excellence; Enthusiasm/Customer Centric; Tenacity/Work Hard and Smart; Creativity; Respect; Collaboration; and Integrity. The entire workforce will participate.

Local contact: Louise Dickmeyer, Minnesota State University, Mankato, 507-389-3283

The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership works with businesses and educational institutions to train or retrain workers, expand work opportunities and keep high-quality jobs in the state. The program has awarded $53.1 million since 2011 to train 64,755 workers and has leveraged $113 million in private funding.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.


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