Posted: July 22, 1998

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Thirty grants totalling $4.45 million were awarded today to local partnerships between Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and employers. Grants will be used to design or improve education and training programs to meet the specific and immediate needs of area businesses, industries and other employers.

"Our colleges and universities exist to serve Minnesota," said Morris J. Anderson Chancellor of the MnSCU system. "With more employers working hand-in-hand with us on the development of learning programs, we can ensure that our programs reflect the true and current needs of the state's employers. These projects will serve as catalysts for lasting alliances that will help to address the state's workforce shortage."

Funding for the grants was directed to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system by the Minnesota Legislature and Governor Arne Carlson during the 1998 legislative session to strengthen the training and educational links between higher education and area employers. The 30 grants were selected by a 24-person review team, from 75 applicants. Colleges in all corners of Minnesota were awarded grants and many initiatives are expected to be self-sustaining into the future. Funds will be awarded within three weeks.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is the largest single provider of higher education in the state of Minnesota and includes community colleges, technical colleges, comprehensive community and technical colleges and state universities. The system serves approximately 145,000 students at 53 campuses around the state and a campus in Akita, Japan.

Ridgewater College, Hutchinson: $243,000
Ridgewater College will realign its training capacity to meet the needs of area employers including Hutchinson Technologies, 3M, Starkey Laboratories, Litchfield Precision Components and ADC Solitra. Specific program areas targeted for improvement include automation, electronics, laser and wireless technology.
Contact: Kimberly Snyder 320-231-5105

Normandale Community College, Bloomington: $166,200
Normandale Community College will expand its capacity to to meet the needs of industries in need of employees experienced in vacuum technology. The project will involve expanded work with area high schools, internships and a strengthening of existing partnerships with Seagate Technology, Honeywell, VTC, Inc., and Cypress Semiconductor Minnesota.
Contact: Linda Frisbee 612-832-6339

Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minneapolis: $90,000
Minneapolis Community and Technical College will work with ten area businesses to develop a training center to train individuals for entry-level positions in information technology. The center will offer expanded internships and short-term programs in a variety of computer technology areas.
Contact: Jo Strand or Josephine Reed -Taylor 612-341-7476

Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minneapolis: $90,000
Minneapolis Community and Technical College will work closely with 25 business partners including the Precision Manufacturing Association, the Precision Metalforming Association and the Minnesota Apprenticeship Council to reach out to at-risk young adults and welfare participants with skill assessment, training, internship and apprenticeship opportunities.
Contact: Jo Strand or Josephine Reed-Taylor 612-341-7476

Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minneapolis: $60,000
In response to a rapidly growing public interest in alternative health care, Minneapolis Community and Technical College will become the site for the Institute for Holistic and Comlementary Health Care. The program will serve nurses, nursing assistants and nursing who wish to understand the combined use of holistic and comlementary approaches and how they influence traditional medicine.
Contact: Jo Strand or Josephine Reed -Taylor 612-341-7476

Inver Hills Community College: $124,100
Inver Grove Heights
Inver Hills Community College will provide a paramedic certification program to Moose Lake, Fairmont and St. Peter using the internet to deliver knowledge and content of the program. Several local hospitals and emergency service providers will collaborate in providing complementary training. The goal is to increase the marketability of individuals in rural communities and improve access to advanced life support to more Minnesotans.
Contact: Allen Erickson 612-450-8397

Lake Superior College, Duluth: $253,000
Lake Superior College will expand and improve its computer science program by increasing the number of students in the program, aligning its curriculum more closely with industry needs and offering internships to students at local businesses. The college will develop its program based on the Swedish model of creating opportunities for students to learn outside the classroom.
Contact: Gary Kruchowski 218-733-7649

Metropolitan State University, St. Paul: $208,200
Metropolitan State University will work with Medtronic, Inc., to address a growing industry demand for technical writers by enhancing their existing technical writing program, establishing a Master of Science in technical writing, expanding internships and improving the curriculum through employer involvement.
Contact: Craig Hansen 612-772-7752

Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn Park, Eden Prairie: $161,500
Hennepin Technical College will work in partnership with several auto, marine and farm implement associations to recruit and train new workers to serve as service representatives (or service advisors) to work directly with customers on their service and repair needs. The enhanced training program will be offered in eight-week, stand-alone blocks and will be developed using existing industry models.
Contact: Dale Sheveland 612-550-7164

Itasca Community College, Grand Rapids: $103,900
Itasca Community College will work with five local businesses to establish the college as a local resource for customized manufacturing technology training and computer aided design (CAD) for their employees. Training will serve draftsmen, machinists, engineers, machine operators, architects and manufacturing employees and provide interships for pre-engineering students.
Contact: Joe Sertich 218-327-4460

Itasca Community College, Grand Rapids: $81,900
Itasca Community College will work with Blandin Paper Company to develop a computer network training program and an Internet-based workforce training and internship program. The program will dramatically increase the number of Novell certified workers available to to all of northeastern Minnesota.
Contact: Joe Sertich 218-327-4460

Pine Technical College, Pine City: $111,100
Pine Technical College will work with area retail organizations to create and enhance a retail sales training certification program that meets National Retail Certifications Standards and serves the needs of East Central Minnesota employers. The project will help recruit and train people for the retail industry and make them more productive and career-oriented workers.
Contact: Noel Harness 320-629-6764

St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud: $182,300
St. Cloud State University will work in partnership with Tech80, Inc., and the St. Cloud Area Economic Development Partnership to develop education and training for the growing motion control industry and upgrade facilities and materials for this industry. A new course will be offered using experimental devices donated by the company combining adaptive control, digital signal processing, electro-mechanics, electronics and computer technologies. Internships will be established.
Contact: Yi Zheng: 320-255-3926

St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud: $175,000
St. Cloud State University will develop an initiative to involve more than 500 persons from underrepresented and minority groups in enrichment, career awareness and preparation programs in science and technology. The program will involve internships, mentoring and the help and support of high technology businesses and public high schools.
Contact: Robert Johnson 320-255-4928

Anoka Hennepin Technical College, Anoka: $167,000
Anoka Hennepin Technical College will work in concert with six area hospitals to dramatically increase the number of surgical technology graduates to fill growing needs. The project will be designed to recruit and train incumbent workers and welfare-to-work participants into programs that will lead to high-paying careers including surgical technology.
Contact: Cliff Korkowski 612-576-4709

Dakota County Technical College, Rosemount: $166,200
Dakota County Technical College will establish a structured apprenticeship program for students pursuing careers in information technology including desktop support, network management and software development positions. The project will involve numerous area businesses.
Contact: Bradd Strelow 612-423-8372

Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Worthington: $130,000
Minnesota West will work with Bayer Corporation in Worthington to develop training programs that meet the certification requirements necessary to expand in the animal health products field. The college will develop a comprehensive employee needs assessment to identify the critical training needs of employees to meet the industry standards.
Contact: Cec Handevidt/Diane Graber 507-847-3320

Minnesota West Community and Technical Colleges: $19,500
Canby, Willmar, Granite Falls, Jackson, Pipestone
Minnesota West will develop a farming internship program to enhance job creation, entrepreneurial skills and help design career paths for entry-level farmers. The new complexities of farming involve many skills. The farm internship program will involve training in a broad range of farming and agribusiness areas including dairy, animal health, chemicals and fertilizers, agronomics and business management.
Contact: Ivan Anderson 320-564-4511

Rainy River Community College, International Falls: $63,100
Rainy River Community College will work with Boise Cascade Corporation, Voyageurs National Park and others to provide career-based education that is land and natural resource-based.
Contact: Renee Peterson 218-285-2253

Mankato State University/South Central College: $141,000
Mankato/North Mankato
South Central College and Mankato State University will create an internship program aligned with the needs of regional businesses and industry. they will develop a model program that can be transferred to other institutions.
Contact: Tony Filipovich 507-389-1333

Riverland Community College, Austin, Albert Lea, Owatonna: $100,500
Riverland Community College will work with area contractors and other businesses to develop a certification program for masonry. This program will improve and upgrade the skills of the existing workforce and help to recruit new workers through the program into this high-growth area. Internships will be a main component of this program.
Contact: Joyce Johnson 507-433-0659

Riverland Community College, Owatonna: $99,300
Riverland Community College's Owatonna extension center will serve as a test site for the implementation of a new statewide information system on careers and education. Owatonna is a city without its own higher education institution. This proposal provides for a coordinated service effort to help individuals and employers access education through technology in Owatonna.
Contact: Art Stoeberl 507-433-0600

Rochester Community and Technical College, Rochester: $296,800
Rochester Community and Technical College will work with IBM to provide customized training for students and workers on the emerging AS/400 computer system. IBM has designated Rochester Community and Technical College as the test site for the development of curriculum as new software is produced.
Contact: Ellen Nelson 507-285-7579

Winona State University, Winona: $265,500
Winona State University will enter a strategic alliance with Watlow Polymer Technologies to develop a workforce well trained in emerging technology that integrates heaters with composites. This project involves research, creating new testing methods and standards for this technology and unique internship programs and experiences for students.
Contact: Keith Dennehy 507-457-5585

Hibbing Community College, Hibbing: $220,000
Hibbing Community College will work with six area businesses and organizations to improve the technical, interpersonal and communication skills of their employees. The project will train and prepare underemployed individuals in general work skill areas that will enable them to find gainful work. Internships will be included.
Contact: Ken Strukel 218-262-7200

Alexandria Technical College, Alexandria: $116,500
Alexandria Technical College will work with several area employers to provide students and workers with the necessary technological skills to enter jobs in the booming wireless technology industry. The college will develop a wireless communication and network specialist degree program and create a model wireless local loop system to be used in simulations for research and training.
Contact: Keven Kopischke 320-762-4404

Moorhead State University, Moorhead: $172,700
Moorhead State University's department of technology will work in partnership with the construction management, industrial management and industrial distribution industries in Minnesota to develop relevant programing, update laboratory equipment and facilities and establish student internships.
Contact: Scott Seltveit 218-236-2469

Northland Community and Technical College, Thief River Falls: $193,600
Northland College will join forces with Arctic Cat to develop and implement a customized robotic training curriculum to be used in the creation of a credit-based robotic welding certificate. Six-month internships will be incorporated into the program.
Contact: Shari Olson 218-681-0869

Northland Community and Technical College, Thief River Falls: $53,600
Northland College will expand its relationship with Northwest Airlines to recruit and train airline mechanics to meet a growing industry need. The project will be intensely focused on educating prospective high school students about the program and its prospects for success. A summer internship program will be included in this effort.
Contact: Orley Gunderson 218-681-0845

Northwest Technical College, East Grand Forks: $194,500
Northwest Technical College will respond to the community's need to rebuild itself following the devastating floods of 1997 by helping to increase the number of people skilled in the building trades. The initiative includes an expansion of internships, customized training for existing construction employers and community outreach.
Contact: Dale Neppel 218-773-3441