Tricounty News

$13 million for Minnesota colleges

Klobuchar, Franken announce $13 Million for Minnesota colleges including St. Cloud Technical and Community College to train workers for manufacturing jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. Thursday, Sept. 20, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken (D-Minn.) announced $13 million for four Minnesota colleges, including

St. Cloud Technical and Community College, to expand their programs to train workers for high-wage, high-skilled manufacturing jobs in Minnesota. A recent study from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development found that nearly half of manufacturers in the state have job openings they can't fill because they can't find employees with the skills they need.

The grant from the Department of Labor will be used to create the Regional Advanced Manufacturing Re-Training (RAMR) program to equip workers with industry-recognized qualifications in an effort to lead to high-wage, high-skilled employment opportunities for an estimated 3,900 workers. The RAMR program seeks to target veterans, the long-term unemployed, and workers who lost their jobs due to manufacturing jobs moving overseas.

"From paper mills to poultry lines, American industry is changing. Increasingly, economic success depends on matching advanced technology with workers who have specialized skills to use that technology and get the job done," said Sen. Klobuchar. "This investment will help Minnesota be a leader in the effort to prepare students for the 'jobs of tomorrow' that our businesses are creating today."

"Nearly every manufacturer I've talked with in Minnesota has told me that they have jobs they can't fill because they can't find workers with the right skills, something that shouldn't be happening at a time when far too many Minnesotans are struggling to find work," said Sen. Franken. "This grant will help provide manufacturers with a trained workforce, so that Minnesota businesses can grow and successfully compete."

The grant will be administered through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program and will be provided to St. Cloud Technical and Community College in St. Cloud, Central Lakes College in Brainerd, Pine Technical College in Pine City, and Bemidji State University in Bemidji.