facebook app skip to content
Primary navigation

Press Releases


Find press releases from prior years in DEED's digital library.

Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Awards $1.6 Million in Workforce Development Grants

Ten projects will train 2,425 workers

11/20/2018 7:44:40 AM

Eric Lightner 651-259-7149

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has awarded workforce development grants totaling $1.6 million under the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP) to train 2,425 workers.

Under the partnership, 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 Minnesota Job Skills Partnership works to ensure that critical training for high-skill jobs is available to Minnesota workers throughout the state,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy, who chairs the MJSP Board. “This is a win-win for Minnesota businesses remaining competitive and educational institutions offering new and advanced training.” 

The following grants were awarded:

Rochester Community and Technical College, Crenlo, Rochester – $49,485 
Crenlo manufactures operator cabs and roll-over protective structures, and produces server cabinets, enclosures and consoles that protect sensitive electronic equipment. Thirty employees will receive 80 to 100 hours of classroom training in basic or advanced MIG welding incorporating troubleshooting skills. The training project will enable Rochester Community and Technical College to update and reduce skills gaps in its welding curriculum.
Local contact: Jennifer Wilson, Rochester Community and Technical College, 507-529-2736

MN State University, Mankato, LasX Industries, Inc., St. Paul – $49,541 
Located in St. Paul, LasX Industries develops, designs and manufactures industrial laser equipment for the packaging, aerospace, automotive, medical, electronic, graphic arts and textile industries. Training in Manufacturing Leadership and Advanced Problem Solving will be given to 34 employees. Training will result in improved communication and empower employees in problem solving and continuous improvement. 
Local contact: Louise Dickmeyer, MSU, Mankato, 507-398-3283

Avivo and Marsden Services, St. Paul – $33,681 
Headquartered in St. Paul, Marsden Services is a privately-owned security and facility service provider. Avivo will provide Special Services Floor Care training to 50 employees; and 30 employees will complete Boiler Training in preparation for the licensure exam for the special engineer commercial boiler license. Both hands-on and classroom training will result in opportunities for career advancement and wage increases. 
Local contact: Erik Aamoth, Avivo, 612-752-8102

Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Greenheck Fan Corporation, Minneapolis – $49,410 
Greenheck Fan Corporation manufactures and supplies air movement and control equipment. Customized training for 300 employees, including 55 new hires, will focus on the production floor level. Course topics include: Team Leader Training, Refrigeration Piper Training, Equipment Operations and Troubleshooting, Microsoft Basics, Advanced Microsoft Excel, and New Hire Safety Training. 
Local contact: Matthew Salo, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, 763-422-6116

Anoka-Ramsey Community College, The Specialty Manufacturing Co., St. Paul – $49,668 
Specialty Manufacturing Company provides product design and development services, and manufacturers valves used for a variety of pneumatic and fluid control applications. Customized training will be given to 93 production workers, managers and engineers. The curriculum will include: Introduction to Production Operations Improvement Systems, Continuous Improvement Skills Matrix (5S, Six Sigma, Kaizen), Structured Problem Resolution and Lean Enhancement. 
Local contact: Matthew Salo, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, 763-422-6116

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Sappi, Cloquet – $399,977 
The Sappi mill is a world leader in the production of Specialized Cellulose and associated products such as renewable energy production and sustainable forestry practices. Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Sappi and the University of Minnesota will work together to create a new certificate program in Pulp and Paper technology. A total of 640 employees will receive training. In addition, a modified curriculum resulting in certificates for academic credit will be developed.
Local contact: Michael Roemerman, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, 218-879-2347

MN State University, Mankato, Mankato Rehabilitation Center, Mankato – $169,320 
Mankato Rehabilitation Center, Inc. (MRCI) is one of Minnesota’s largest nonprofit human service organizations providing disabled/disadvantaged people with innovative employment programs. New Core Value Training, emphasizing 10 “Team Promises” will be given to the entire workforce. In addition, six workshops for leaders and mangers will focus on fulfilling the Team Promises mission. Employees who complete training will receive a digital badge or micro-credential as proof of completion. 
Local contact: Louise Dickmeyer, MSU, Mankato, 507-398-3283

Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Wilson Tool International, White Bear Lake – $372,434 
Wilson Tool International is one of the world’s largest independent manufacturers of tooling systems for punch presses, press brakes and punch and die components. Nine training components, to include Employee Succession Planning, Collective Leadership, Dynamics of Dialogue, Preservation of Organizational Expertise, On-Boarding, Workplace Technology Utilization, Foreign Customs and Compliance, Speaking Wilson Tool, and Productivity Technologies and Techniques, will be developed. All 463 employees will receive training in at least one subject matter. Six employees will participate in a train-the-trainer course. 
Local contact: Matthew Salo, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, 763-422-6116

Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Long Haul Trucking, Albertville – $300,000 
Long Haul Trucking (LHT) is the largest Conestoga trucking company in North America. Conestoga, a tarping system used on flatbed trailers, is designed to carry a variety of loads, reduces operating time and protects from weather conditions. A customized training program, including leadership/company changes and technician cross-training, will be delivered to 246 employees (57 new). 
Local contact: Matthew Salo, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, 763-422-6116

Metropolitan University, UnitedHealth Group, Minnetonka – $161,779 
Optum, a wholly owned subsidiary of UnitedHealth, is the largest employer of cybersecurity professionals in the Twin Cities region. Fifty Optum employees will be selected to complete coursework in preparation for the nationally-recognized GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH certification), which focuses on detecting, responding and resolving computer security incidents. As a result of training, Optum employees will develop the skills to detect and respond more quickly to potential security threats and function more effectively as a team as they prepare to successfully pass the certification exam. 
Local contact: Kyle Swanson, Metropolitan State University, 651-793-1681

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 $57.4 million since 2011 to train 69,279 workers and has leveraged $116 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 us on Twitter.

Upon request, this information can be made available in alternate formats for people with disabilities by contacting the DEED Communications Office at 651-259-7161.

Economic Development



back to top