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Workforce Development

Workforce 1Workforce Development grants support education and training initiatives that emerge from industry sectors, schools or collaborations that build capacity, increase responsiveness or demonstrate innovation to address workforce needs. 

Contact: Danae Beaudette, 218-735-3022,

Eligible applicants:  An accredited post-secondary education institution, State of Minnesota governmental entities and/or nonprofit organizations partnering with industries providing education or training programs operating within the agency's service area. Multi-organization collaboration is welcome. 

FY21 Workforce Development grant guidelines

Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation works to improve economic opportunities for diversity and inclusion within our service area.

Success Story

Rural Rides is a workforce transportation program that since 2008 has provided rides to disadvantaged workers, job seekers and persons attending job training. The program’s service area today includes Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis counties. Administered through Arrowhead Transit and Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA), Rural Rides in 2017 served 1,025 community members and provided 78,333 one-way rides. Seventy-seven percent of the participants gained or maintained employment, and the remaining were seeking work or attending career pathways training. Because northeastern Minnesota is approximately 20,000 square miles of rural, spread-out communities, transportation is a vital factor in the economy. Per capita in 2016, out-state Minnesotans traveled 2,201 additional miles than metro individuals. Until 2017 Rural Rides was almost completely funded by Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT). However, that funding source was reduced creating a $30,000 gap which was filled by Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation with a workforce development grant.

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