Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council Receives Four DEED Grants to Advance Workforce Development Initiatives

[Southwest Minnesota, April 1, 2024] — Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council (PIC) is thrilled to announce receiving four grants aimed at enhancing the region’s Southwest Minnesota Workforce Development Board initiatives. These grants reflect the organization’s commitment to fostering economic growth, empowering individuals, and addressing the skills gap in Southwest Minnesota.

In collaboration with key partners, including Minnesota West Community & Technical College, Southwest Minnesota State University, Adult Basic Education, Southwest West Central Service Cooperative, local chambers, businesses, and school districts, Southwest Minnesota PIC is prepared to leverage these grants to maximize their impact on the community.

The grants include

Robotics and STEM Grant

The Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council has been awarded as part of the Robotics Teams and STEM Internships Program grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). This funding will support high school robotics teams in the PIC’s 14-county region, providing opportunities for hands-on career exploration, mentorship, and work-based learning opportunities. Students will benefit from career assessments, guidance, and paid STEM-related internships with local companies.

We are currently seeking high school students and host sites for Summer STEM Internships and you can learn more here: Robotics and STEM Flyer

Pathways to Prosperity Grant

DEED once again awarded the PIC a Pathways to Prosperity grant to provide clear career pathways for individuals facing systemic barriers to employment. Through three programs focused on skills training and support services, the initiative will provide skills-based training in in-demand careers, helping participants increase their employability and preparedness for family-sustaining careers.

WESA Grant

DEED awarded nearly $2.4 million in workforce grants to 24 organizations across the state, the Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA) Grants will enable the Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council to encourage and assist women in entering high-wage, high-demand, nontraditional occupations.

Drive for Five Grant

Governor Tim Walz has announced the allocation of nearly $20 million in grants to support Minnesota’s workforce through the Drive for Five Workforce initiative. As part of this initiative, the Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council will collaborate to prepare Minnesotans for high-demand jobs in technology, the trades, caring professions, manufacturing, and education. Carrie Bendix, Executive Director of the Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council, expressed gratitude for the grants, stating, “These investments will significantly enhance our ability to equip individuals with the skills and resources they need to succeed in today’s workforce. We are proud to partner with DEED, local organizations, and businesses to make a positive impact in southwest Minnesota.”

For more information about the Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council and its workforce development initiatives, please contact us.

About Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council: The Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council is dedicated to partnering with individuals, employers, and educational institutions to empower job seekers of all backgrounds to find meaningful careers. Through innovative programs and strategic collaborations, the PIC strives to bridge the gap between employers and qualified candidates, fostering economic growth and prosperity in southwest Minnesota.

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