The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced nearly $13.6 million in workforce grants, its latest effort to help grow Minnesota’s workforce and connect people to good jobs.
DEED is awarding Pathways to Prosperity grant funding to 43 organizations across the state. This Pathways to Prosperity funding is expected to serve 2,779 Minnesotans through three programs focused on providing clear career pathways to people who face systemic barriers to employment: On-Ramp to Career Pathways, Bridge to Career Pathways and Individualized Training Pathways.
Each program provides skills training and support services to help trainees increase employability and preparedness for family-sustaining careers.
“Helping Minnesotans get onto a career pathway benefits workers, businesses and families, which is why DEED is proud to partner with these Pathways to Prosperity grantees,” said DEED Commissioner Matt Varilek. “By investing in the success of Minnesotans, especially those who face systemic barriers to employment, we’re helping build sustainable economic growth for everyone in our state.”
“The grant funding announced today is an investment in preparing Minnesotans to enter career pathways that pay family-sustaining wages through participation in high-quality skills training programs and attainment of industry-recognized certifications,” said DEED Deputy Commissioner Marc Majors. “This funding is critical to expanding opportunity for all Minnesotans, helping Minnesota employers hire the skilled employees they need and growing our economy.”
“Hired is honored to be counted among the grantees of DEED’s Pathways to Prosperity program,” said Julie Brekke, Executive Director of Hired. “For the past six years, funding through this program has provided the resources for Hired to help hundreds of the Twin Cities jobseekers upskill and find a job. With support for the next two years, we’ll be able to train an additional 140 people for careers in office administration and medical call centers.”
Hired staff provided this example of a past participant overcoming barriers and achieving career success: A Hired employment counselor referred a participant to Pathways to Prosperity-funded medical call center training. The participant was not confident when applying and interviewing for jobs because of a large gap in her work history and out-of-date job skills. The participant worked with Hired’s trainer to update her computer skills, gain customer service skills, learn health care terminology, develop a resume and practice interviewing. Upon completing the medical call center training, the participant quickly landed a job she loves as a recovery navigator at a local employer. She is excited to utilize her employer’s tuition reimbursement program to go back to college to advance her career.
Grantees receiving these funds connect with participants in various ways. People interested in Pathways to Prosperity and other programs to help them prepare for good jobs should contact a CareerForce location near them. CareerForce location contact information can be found at CareerForceMN.com/locations or by calling 651-259-7500.