A number of Minnesota employers and their employees will benefit from more than $2.7 million in state grants to fund employment-based dual training for 589 current and new employees as part of the Minnesota Dual-Training Pipeline.

The program's dual training grants give dual trainees the opportunity to earn while they learn and help businesses meet their workforce needs, according to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, which announced the grants in a news release on Tuesday, June 16. Four industries with in-demand, high-growth occupations are eligible to receive grants: advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services and information technology.

"We're hearing stories of how the COVID-19 pandemic has Minnesotans re-thinking the importance and value of higher education as the path to achieving their career goals," said Commissioner Dennis Olson, Minnesota Office of Higher Education. "This employer/student partnership is finding increased success and value this year, both in terms of meeting individual goals, as well as addressing changing workforce needs."

This year, more than $2 million of the grants are being awarded to companies located in greater Minnesota. Employees will earn a wide variety of industry-recognized degrees, certificates and credentials as part of this program that will help improve their skills and advance their careers. The grants will support 31 employers in advanced manufacturing, two in agriculture, 15 in health care and one in information technology. All employers invest in their employees, ensuring robust training programs that require additional, ongoing resources.

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) administers the dual training grant program, in collaboration with the Minnesota Dual-Training Pipeline at the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI). Grant funds can be used to cover the cost of dual trainees' tuition, fees and required materials for the related instruction training in program occupations.

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"The Minnesota Dual-Training Pipeline pairs on-the-job training and classroom learning to provide skills for workers while helping employers meet their workforce needs," said Nancy Leppink, DLI commissioner. "Apprenticeships and dual training are important training models that help Minnesota employers recruit and retain employees. We are excited to continue our support of these programs with this new round of grants."

Grants are being awarded to the following Minnesota organizations:

Aagard – Alexandria

AGCO Corporation – Jackson

Alliance Machine – Elk River

Allina Health – New Ulm

American Crystal Sugar – Moorhead

Apple Tree Dental – Mounds View

Bedford Industries – Worthington

BTD Manufacturing – Detroit Lakes and Lakeville

C.A.R.E. Clinic – Red Wing

Cerenity Senior Care – Saint Paul and White Bear Lake

Daikin Applied Air – Faribault and Owatonna

Design Ready Controls – Brooklyn Park

DeZURIK – Sartell

Dotson Iron Castings – Mankato

Essentia Health – Duluth

Eureka Recycling – Minneapolis

Goodwill Industries, Inc. – Saint Paul

Grand Village – Grand Rapids

Greater Bemidji – Bemidji

Innovize – Saint Paul

Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association – Rochester

JBS – Worthington

Jones Metal, Inc. – Mankato

K&G Manufacturing – Faribault

Kahler Automation – Fairmont

Lamb Weston RDO Frozen – Park Rapids

Mankato Clinic – Mankato

McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing – Dodge Center

Mechanical Systems Inc. – Dundas

Miller Ingenuity – Winona

Pequot Tool & Manufacturing – Pequot Lakes

Post Consumer Brands – Northfield

Range Mental Health Center Inc. – Virginia

Red Lake Comprehensive Health Services – Red Lake

rms Company – Coon Rapids

SageGlass – Faribault

Saint Therese of New Hope – New Hope

Sanford Health Network – Bemidji and Worthington

Sappi Cloquet LLC – Cloquet

Sauer Health Care – Winona

Seneca Foods Corporation – LeSeuer

SFC Global Supply Chain, Inc – Marshall

The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society – Brainerd

Touchstone Mental Health – Minneapolis

Trex Commercial Products – Brooklyn Park

UMC, Inc. – Monticello

University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum – Chaska

V-TEK, Inc. – Mankato

Winegar, Inc. – Waseca