Alexandria Technical and Community College and the Aagard Group will receive a $49,915 grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

The ATCC is partnering with Aagard to train 104 employees and the grant will go toward that effort. The training will focus on building critical leadership skills and enhance the skill sets at all levels of the organization to meet its customers’ growing needs.

The grant was one of nine workforce development grants totaling nearly $1.3 million under the Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership (MJSP) that will assist businesses and educational institutions in training workers to keep high-quality jobs in the state.

These grants were awarded in early March 2020, prior to impact from the COVID-19 pandemic in Minnesota.

“The MJSP is a vital tool in helping Minnesotans train for high-skill, high-paying jobs, particularly as Minnesota’s economy will begin to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 over the coming months,” said Commissioner of DEED, Steve Grove. “Training workers to meet the needs of Minnesota has never been more important.”

Businesses and educational institutions work together to secure MJSP funding for training their Minnesota workers. First, businesses meet with an accredited educational institution to explain their training needs and learn about their options. Then, after the two groups have agreed upon how to meet the business’s training needs, the educational institution contacts DEED to determine eligibility for a grant.

While some training programs have been put on hold during the pandemic, training will resume as soon as public health and other officials determine it is safe.

Since 2011, MJSP has awarded $69.1 million to train more than 80,725 workers and has leveraged $142 million in private funding. The next application deadline is May 4.