Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Xcel Energy and DEED Call for Request for Proposals to Provide Energy-Related Construction Training

Public-private partnership aims to grow workforce pipeline and provide strong career pathway opportunities


September 7, 2022

St. Paul – Today, Xcel Energy and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) opened the Xcel Energy Power Up program request for proposals (RFP). The RFP seeks applications from Minnesota training providers to deliver outreach, supportive services, and apprenticeship readiness training for a variety of energy-related construction occupations. Xcel Energy is investing $4 million in the Xcel Energy Power Up initiative, $3.6 million of which will go toward grants to provide energy-related construction training and apprenticeship or employment placement over three years ending in June 2025. The RFP will close on November 1, 2022, at 5 p.m.

The goal of this funding is to facilitate direct placement of 150 training program participants into union apprenticeship or energy-related construction jobs. Program graduates will have multiple pathways available, however the priority for this funding is to have a skilled workforce available for the contractors working on Xcel Energy’s Sherco Solar project in Becker, Minnesota.

“As we reflect on Labor Day and the social and economic achievements of American workers, we’re proud to announce the Xcel Energy Power Up program, which was encouraged by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission as part of our recently approved plans for the energy transition on our system,” said Chris Clark, President, Xcel Energy – Minnesota. “Partnership with DEED on this project will help develop the next generation of clean energy workers and grow the workforce pipeline Xcel Energy and other Minnesota employers need during this tight labor market – and will help bring more Minnesotans into these career path jobs.”

“Ensuring Minnesota employers have the workforce needed to grow and thrive here – and that Minnesotans have the training opportunities they need to land good-paying, family-sustaining employment – is central to what we do at DEED,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “We’re excited to partner with Xcel Energy on this project, which aligns with DEED’s mission to empower the growth of the Minnesota economy, for everyone.”

The Xcel Energy Power Up program seeks to expand workforce diversity in energy-related and trades careers through focused outreach to people of color, women and veterans to participate in skilled training, navigation services and supportive services to support entry into either apprenticeships or directly into employment in energy-related construction careers specifically designed for the utility industry and building trades.

Providers should plan graduation dates to align with planned construction of Xcel Energy’s 460 megawatt Sherco Solar project. Currently, that project schedule includes a solar build in 2023 and 2024. All training will need to be completed by December 31, 2024, followed by a six-month window to place training program participants in employment by the end of June 2025.

Minnesota training providers and others interested in learning more about the Xcel Energy Power Up training program RFP are invited to participate in a virtual information meeting on September 15 at 1 p.m. Visit DEED’s Competitive Grants and Contracts webpage for the link to join the meeting. RFP application materials are also posted on that page.

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, the website, or follow us on Twitter.

Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


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