Minnesota State Centers of Excellence

Minnesota State hosts eight Centers of Excellence - each serving a major industry that faces serious workforce challenges. The centers collaborate with industry and educators to attract and prepare students for success in high-demand careers.

Strategically located throughout the state, the Minnesota State Centers of Excellence drive workforce innovation through education and industry collaboration - and provide thought leadership on workforce development in their respective industries.

Enhancing education. Employees outside demonstrating science projects to a group of students

The Centers of Excellence are helping to enhance education at every level - from K-12 through postsecondary and beyond.

For middle and high school educators, we provide:

  • Career camps and tours of industry
  • Mobile classrooms and career expo trailers
  • Free or low-cost career-preparedness and STEM curriculum
  • Educate the Educator courses, camps and online training

For postsecondary educators, we offer:

  • Access to grants and industry resources for educators willing to enhance current curriculum to meet industry and student career placement objectives
  • Assistance in attaining and maintaining licensing and certification
  • Strategies for increasing enrollment in specific programs

For workplace and workforce training center educators, we offer career paths and educational options that:

  • Allow current employees and job seekers gain the skills, credentials, and degrees that can lead to higher earning power
  • Can be used to onboard new employees, apprentices, interns and work-study candidates

For more information, contact the Center (or Centers) listed below about resources you can employ in your educational setting.

Inspiring students. Young students looking into microscope

The Centers of Excellence offer many opportunities for students to learn applied skills in multiple career fields while getting a chance to see how these skills are employed in the real world.

For middle and high school students, we:

  • Offer career camps and robotics competitions that provide hands-on fun and experiences that show how STEM skills can be used in real-world jobs.
  • Develop career pathways that allow students to earn while they learn - from diplomas and in-demand certifications, to 2-year, 4-year and post-graduate degrees.
  • Host tours of manufacturing, career expos and other events that help students see the wide variety of careers available to them in specific industries.

For more information, contact the Center (or Centers) listed below that interest you to explore all the available opportunities and career paths in each industry.

For more information, explore the Minnesota State Centers of Excellence below:

Tina LeBrun, Executive Director

Rose Patzer, Executive Director

Jason Bruns, Director

Valerie Defor, Executive Director

Janice Aanenson, Executive Director

Jeremy Leffelman, Executive Director

Chris Hadfield, Director