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DEED Announces Request for Proposals for the Minnesota Forward Tech Training Competitive Grant

St. Paul – Today, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced a request for proposals (RFP) for the Minnesota Forward Tech Training Program. The RFP seeks applications from Minnesota organizations to deliver work readiness services, career and education navigation, occupational skills training, support services, and placement in information technology (IT) career-path employment. Organizations that receive a grant will train Minnesotans ages 18 and older from low-income communities or people of color in technology career pathways and place them in permanent employment at a family-sustaining wage.

"These grants will support critical efforts to engage young, creative Minnesotans from Black, brown and Indigenous communities, plus those from low-income communities, in working toward tech careers," said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. "The Minnesota Forward Tech Training Program provides both skills and mentorship for young Minnesotans to experience hands-on training, leading to placement in jobs and careers with family-sustaining wages."

Assisting more Minnesotans from low-income communities and people of color in preparing for and securing employment in IT is part of DEED's efforts to address economic disparities in Minnesota. Wages for workers in IT occupations are higher than for most occupations in the state – in fact, the median hourly wage for IT occupations was $48.34 an hour in 2022, which is nearly $25 more an hour than the median for all occupations in the state.

"When technologists from diverse backgrounds get the opportunity to come to the table, we all come up with better solutions to improve outcomes for everyone," said Commissioner Tarek Tomes, Minnesota IT Services. "Our ability to connect with and reach under-resourced populations – especially with individuals who may already have the curiosity, perseverance, and problem-solving skills to succeed in this field – and to inspire them to be technologists is an important part of the work we can do together in Minnesota."

Minnesota training providers and others interested in learning more about the Minnesota Forward Tech Training Program Competitive Grant are invited to participate in a virtual informational meeting on Monday, October 17 at 2:00 p.m. Visit DEED's Competitive Grants and Contracts webpage for the link to join the meeting. Detailed eligibility requirements and RFP application materials are also posted on that page. The RFP will close Tuesday, November 29 at 5:00 p.m. CST.

Funds for Minnesota Tech Training Program are authorized under state statute and approved by the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Board (MJSP). A total of $5,000,000 is available for this round of grants, in State Fiscal Years 2023-2024. Organizations may apply for funds as low as $250,000 and as high as $750,000. The administration of these funds is guided by the state's dislocated worker program, and participant eligibility is guided by state dislocated worker program requirements. DEED expects to announce the names of grantees in early 2023.

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.


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