Five MnSCU colleges awarded $20 million to expand skills training and strengthen employer partnerships

Posted: September 23, 2013

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Five colleges in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system were awarded a total of $20 million in grants for the development and expansion of innovative training programs in partnership with local employers. The awards came as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program (TAACCCT), a multiyear initiative to expand targeted training programs for unemployed workers, especially those impacted by foreign trade.

“These grants will advance student success and ensure that graduates have the knowledge they need for careers in advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology, and a host of other STEM fields,” said MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. “Preparing graduates to meet the state’s workforce needs is essential to keeping Minnesota globally competitive.”

“For Minnesota’s workforce to remain competitive, our workers must have the skills that employers need,” said Katie Clark Sieben, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). “This funding will expand training programs that will help workers obtain the credentials required for good jobs, while meeting the critical workforce needs of employers.”

Century College (White Bear Lake) is leading the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Careers Consortium which will expand and improve the delivery of orthotics and prosthetics career education by increasing the attainment of industry-recognized credentials needed for the changing health status of communities and expected shortage of workers in this field. For its part, Century College was awarded $4,677,095. Other consortium participants are Baker College (MI), Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OK), Spokane Falls Community College (WA), and St. Petersburg College (FL).

Three MnSCU colleges are collaborating in the Rural Information Technology Alliance (RITA) which will address critical rural IT workforce needs by upgrading college programs and by constructing career ladders and removing barriers to entering the workforce. The consortium is led by Pine Technical College (Pine City) which was awarded $6,898,193. Awards also went to RITA consortium participants: Central Lakes College (Brainerd) was awarded $3,710,338; Ridgewater Community College (Hutchinson, Willmar) was awarded $3,048,062; and North Central Texas College (Gainesville, TX) was awarded $4,660,429.

Minnesota State College-SE Technical (Red Wing, Winona) was awarded $1,766,408 for its part in the Mississippi River Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Consortium (MRTDL). This group seeks to establish transportation, distribution and logistics sector partnerships in communities along the Mississippi River corridor from its headwaters to New Orleans; recalibrate programs to align with employer needs; build stacked and latticed credentials; integrate evidence-based strategies to serve TAA-eligible workers (those who have suffered job loss or whose jobs are threatened due to foreign trade); and solidify the consortium for long-term collaboration. MRTDL is led by Lewis and Clark Community College (MO).

TAACCCT is being implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education.

Additional Contacts:

Century College:
Jim Stumne, Director of Marketing

Pine Technical College
Robert Musgrove, President

Central Lakes College
Kenn Dols, Director of Communications

Ridgewater Community College
Liz VanDerBill, Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Minnesota State College-SE Technical
Joanne Thompson, Director of Communications