Posted: September 29, 1999

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

In a move that could help workers caught in the current farm crisis, the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Board today awarded a $318,754 training grant to Minnesota West Community & Technical College to help two processing plants upgrade the skills of their workers. The grant also will allow Minnesota West to develop a new two-year degree program for students seeking to become processing plant operators.

The signing ceremonies marking the beginning of the partnerships with Minnesota Corn Processors of Marshall and Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company of Benson will be held today at both company locations.
"Our facilities are located in areas hard hit by the farm crisis," said Morris J. Anderson, chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. "We are pleased to provide opportunities for people to improve their skills and financial futures."

Employee training by Minnesota West will take place at the companies.

The curriculum for the new degree program will be designed to meet the needs of the growing process plant industry.

Minnesota Corn Processors is a wet milling plant that produces starch, corn syrup and ethanol. It employs 250 people, 105 of whom will be trained under the new grant. Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company produces ethanol employs 35 people, 15 of whom will receive training.

Minnesota West Community & Technical College consists of five campuses located at Canby, Granite Falls, Jackson, Pipestone and Worthington. The college's department of customized training and continuing education trains employees of many businesses throughout Southwestern Minnesota.

The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership works to increase cooperation between Minnesota's post-secondary institutions and business and industry.