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DEED, Xcel Energy and Partners Celebrate Graduation of Energy and Construction Trainees

St. Paul, MN – This morning, 61 students graduated from the Xcel Energy PowerUp Program, a public and private partnership to prepare workers for in-demand career-path employment in fields related to energy and construction trades.

Xcel Energy and Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) are working with seven community-based organizations to train and provide job placement for Minnesotans who are underrepresented in energy- and construction trades-related fields.

The first cohort of graduates – trained this spring by Building Strong Communities (BSC) – graduated on Friday morning at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park. The 61 PowerUp program participants are among 105 students who graduated from various BSC workforce training programs on Friday, BSC’s largest graduating class ever.

Xcel Energy has invested $4 million in the Xcel Energy PowerUp program with the goal of preparing 150 program participants to enter energy-related jobs or union apprenticeships by June 30, 2025.

"DEED is honored to partner with Xcel Energy, Building Strong Communities and community-based organizations around Minnesota to make the Xcel Energy PowerUp Program a success," said DEED Commissioner Matt Varilek. “Partnering with employers, industry associations and unions is a great way to ensure we are preparing people with the right skills for in-demand jobs. Thank you to Xcel Energy and every PowerUp partner.”

“The PowerUp program is a reflection of Xcel Energy’s priorities and the communities we serve. As we lead the clean energy transition, we need a skilled workforce to build the new generation and transmission infrastructure that’s required to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity to our customers,” said Patricia Correa, Xcel Energy senior vice president and chief human resources officer. “We thank DEED and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for helping to shape the PowerUp program. We share the Commission’s goal to broaden participation in the energy transition. We believe a diverse workforce is a key element to deliver value in the way we conduct business, connect with our customers and build relationships in our communities.”

“This program changes lives,” said Building Strong Communities Executive Director Rick Martagon. “It provides people with the education and skills to make informed career choices that will benefit themselves and their families.”

Building Strong Communities serves as the provider of apprenticeship preparatory training for the Xcel Energy PowerUp Program and facilitates the direct placement of students into registered apprenticeships in construction trades. Community-based organizations play a vital role in recruitment, workforce readiness and providing supportive services. This network includes Avivo, Career Solutions, Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services, Inc., EMERGE Community Development, Native Sun Community Power Development and Summit Academy OIC.

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 how DEED delivers for Minnesota, visit the DEED website, the JoinUsMn.com website, or follow us on X. You can view resources to help Minnesotans prepare for and find employment now, including thousands of open positions throughout Minnesota, at CareerForceMN.com.

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 xcelenergy.com or follow us on X and Facebook

 

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