DEED awards more than $1.4 million in grants to colleges for employer workforce development projects


November 15, 2023

St. Paul – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) today announced 11 workforce development grants totaling over $1.4 million to six Minnesota educational institutions that partnered with Minnesota businesses to develop and deliver workforce training programs addressing those employers’ specific needs.

“Workforce training programs help employers with their labor recruitment and retention efforts and provide employees with essential skills and career development opportunities,” said DEED Commissioner Matt Varilek. “Partnering with educational institutions is an effective way to deliver these programs because they help employers customize training opportunities and leverage teaching staff expertise.”

Participating businesses must partner with an accredited educational institution for these Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership (MJSP) grants, awarded to the educational institution to develop and deliver custom training for the business. Programming covered by the grants includes onboarding and training new workers, upskilling current workers, promoting workforce diversity, defining career pathways, developing communication and leadership skills and more.

Since 2019, MJSP has awarded $29.3 million to train more than 30,500 workers and has leveraged $62.7 million in private funding. The next MJSP grant application deadline is Jan. 22, 2024 and grants will be awarded in March.

Grants announced today include:

$399,187 grant to Anoka-Ramsey Community College (ARCC) for partnership with Wilson Tool International Inc.

Wilson Tool International, a global machine tooling solutions company in White Bear Lake, is partnering with ARCC for training to upskill 525 workers for advanced automated equipment operations and to align the entire organization with its new vision that embraces workforce diversity, preserves institutional knowledge, improves data analytics and communication, streamlines production processes and strengthens leadership at all levels.

$391,213 grant to Hennepin Technical College for partnership with Rosenbauer America

Rosenbauer America, a custom fire truck manufacturer, is partnering with Hennepin Technical College for technical, operational and leadership skills training for 223 new and current workers at its Wyoming, Minn. plant.

$237,513 grant to Century College for partnership with Advanced Molding Technologies

Advanced Molding Technologies, located in Circle Pines, is a plastic-injection molding company that manufactures plastic parts for a variety of industries. The company is partnering with Century College to develop a formal development program for 202 employees, which will include onboarding, orientation and job-specific training.

$49,998 grant to St. Cloud State University for partnership with Park Industries

Located in St. Cloud, Park Industries is North America’s largest manufacturer of stone working equipment. The company is partnering with St. Cloud State University for a skills development program for 80 business leaders focused on collaboration and communications skills, executive transformation and Tri-Metrics Certification.

$49,969 grant to ARCC for partnership with Aggressive Hydraulics

Aggressive Hydraulics, located in Cedar, designs, engineers and manufactures hydraulic cylinders and components. The company is partnering with ARCC to provide 93 employees with skills training to function in a highly automated and electronic environment.

$49,969 grant to ARCC for partnership with Asmodee North America

Asmodee North America, a board game developer, publisher and distributor with locations in Roseville and Lino Lakes, is partnering with ARCC to develop a formal diversity, equity and inclusion program that will help prepare 80 company leaders to manage in an increasingly diverse workplace.

$49,871 grant to ARCC for partnership with Gassen Inc.

Gassen Inc., a property management business located in Eden Prairie, is partnering with ARCC to encourage more property management career seekers and strengthen property management finance and technology skills by developing a program called Gassen University that will serve as the company’s training arm for 75 employees, as well as HOA staff and board members.

$49,836 grant to ARCC for partnership with Resolution Medical

Resolution Medical, located in Fridley, is a medical device and components developer and manufacturer. The company is partnering with ARCC for a training program to help 80 project managers, engineers and managers interpret and translate highly technical, complex subject matter into easily understood terms for employees, vendors and customers.

$49,526 grant to ARCC for partnership with MRG Tool & Die

MRG Tool & Die, located in Faribault, is a sole source tool and die company specializing in close tolerance metal working. The company is partnering with ARCC for training to upskill 75 workers to operate new high tech equipment and create more defined career paths for long-term advancement to retain workers.

$48,488 grant to South Central College for partnership with Siwek Lumber & Millwork

Siwek Lumber & Millwork, located in Jordan, is a lumber, tools and hardware supplier that serves homeowners and contractors with its lumber yards in Jordan and Minneapolis and a sawmill in Le Sueur. The company’s training program for 72 workers through South Central College will help them to navigate leadership and business transitions.

$43,037 grant to Central Lakes College/AgCentric for a program with the Ag Innovation Campus and the Minnesota Farmer’s Union.

AgCentric, a Minnesota State Center of Excellence in Agriculture, is partnering with the Ag Innovation Campus (AIC) and the Minnesota Farmer’s Union to create a soybean crush facility employee training program at AIC in Crookston. The training will be mandatory for AIC employees and available to other crush facilities that want to upskill their existing workforces to align with the growing demands of agriculture specialty production and value-added processing.

Partnership program contacts:

• Matthew Salo, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, 763-422-6116

• Keith Olander, Central Lakes College/AgCentric, 218-894-5163

• Eric Riedel, Century College, 651-779-3310

• Leslie Price, Hennepin Technical College, 763-488-3705

• Tanja Sigurdson, South Central College, 507-382-1152

• Ileana Merten, St. Cloud State University, 320-308-6160

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. Find out how DEED delivers for Minnesota by visiting the DEED website,, or follow us on X (formerly known as Twitter).


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