Minnesota investing millions to help train people for high-demand jobs

About $20 million in Minnesota state grants will go to schools and training centers as part of an effort to prepare workers to meet the high demand for five fields of employment. 

The five occupational categories are technology, the trades, caring professions, manufacturing and education. 

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced the Drive for Five Workforce initiative during a news conference on Tuesday. The governor’s office said the goal is to grow the state’s workforce by training and placing 1,200 people over the next 15 months and benefiting 3,000 businesses.  

"We’re partnering with organizations across the state to expand job training programs and grow the workforce in the future. By investing in career training, we’re helping businesses find the skilled workers they need while helping Minnesotans find fulfilling careers and earn family-sustaining wages. This is good news for our workers, our businesses, and our economy," Gov. Walz said in a statement.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz. (FOX 9)

The governor’s office said family-sustaining wages are defined as having a median hourly wage at or above $19.46. 

State officials say this is part of a larger initiative and investment in the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). More than $216 million is being invested into DEED’s employment and training programs through June 30, 2025. This includes $50 million to "support workforce development in historically overlooked communities through the Targeted Populations Workforce Development Programs initiative" in order to "achieve a more equitable economy," according to a news release from the governor’s office. 

The funds include investments in the following organizations to train for the fields listed:

  • African Community Services, $325,000, Caring Professions, Technology
  • Alexandria Technical & Community College, $750,000 Technology, Trades
  • Anoka County Job Training Center, $400,000, Caring Professions
  • Augsburg University, $240,000, Education
  • Bemidji State University/MN State Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence, $750,000, Manufacturing
  • Black Men Teach, $200,000, Education
  • Career Solutions, $700,000, Manufacturing 
  • Center for African Immigrant and Refugee Organization, $400,000, Caring Professions 
  • City of Duluth Workforce Development, $390,000, Education, Trades
  • Faribault Public Schools, $300,000, Caring Professions, Education
  • Hennepin Technical College, $250,000, Manufacturing 
  • HIRED, $500,000, Manufacturing
  • Intermediate School District 917, $550,000, Education 
  • Karen Organization of Minnesota, $500,000, Trades
  • Lutheran Social Services, $750,000, Education
  • Minnpoly, $740,000, Manufacturing
  • North Memorial Health Care, $740,000, Caring Professions  
  • Otter Tail County, $250,000, Caring Professions, Manufacturing, Trades
  • Pine Tech, $725,000, Caring Professions, Manufacturing 
  • Project for Pride in Living, $300,000, Caring Professions, Technology
  • Regents of the University of Minnesota, $740,000, Caring Professions
  • Rural Minnesota CEP, $750,000, Caring Professions, Manufacturing, Technology, Trades 
  • Southwest Metro Intermediate District #288, $750,000, Caring Professions, Education, Technology, Trades
  • Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council, $600,000, Caring Professions, Education, Manufacturing, Technology, Trades

The following are part of the Drive for Five Job Placement as well as Diversity, Inclusion & Retention grantees for the listed services: 

  • Chinese American Chamber of Commerce, $300,000, Job Placement, Diversity Inclusion & Retention services
  • Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce, $145,000, Diversity, Inclusion & Retention Services
  • Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, $190,000, Diversity, Inclusion & Retention Services
  • Greater Mankato Growth, $155,000, Job Placement, Diversity Inclusion & Retention services
  • Latino Chamber of Commerce, $300,000, Job Placement, Diversity Inclusion & Retention services
  • Marshall Chamber of Commerce, $145,000, Job Placement, Diversity Inclusion & Retention services
  • Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association, $800,000, Job Placement, Diversity Inclusion & Retention services
  • Minnesota Technology Association, $285,000, Job Placement  
  • Shakopee Area Chamber of Commerce, $450,000, Job Placement, Diversity Inclusion & Retention services
  • St. Paul Area Chamber, $800,000, Job Placement, Diversity Inclusion & Retention services
  • Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce, $30,000, Job Placement, Diversity Inclusion & Retention services

 More on the state’s Drive for Five Initiative can be found here.