Workforce Development, Inc. receives almost $2M in employment and training funds for the southeast region

Published 6:08 am Saturday, November 9, 2019

It was announced Friday that Workforce Development, Inc., an independent, non-profit agency serving the needs of job seekers and employers in Southeast Minnesota, was awarded a series of grants in the total amount of $1,286,170.

Below are the grants that were handed out:

•Support Services grant to support a program called Emerging Leaders ($45,000). This program focuses on serving youth from underserved populations, including youth of color, youth with disabilities, and those experiencing multigenerational poverty. Services provided include building relationships and rapport, while providing experiential and hands-on learning in job training, employment preparation, career pathways education and work experience. Services will be available in all 10 WDI served counties.

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•WESA (Women’s Economic Security Act) – If Given the Opportunity…Women Can Do Anything grant ($201,000). This project will promote nontraditional careers and help women obtain education in nontraditional career pathways; educate staff, providers, and K-12 students about these opportunities; connect women to mentors; and collaborate with employers to create a female-friendly workplace.

•Southeast Asian Success in Southeast Minnesota, a grant serving Freeborn and Mower Counties ($360,170). Individuals residing in Albert Lea and Austin will receive tools and resources to access training and utilize workforce development services in a variety of industries. An outreach specialist and a program specialist will provide services in a culturally relevant manner.

•Youth Intervention Program grant to support a program called Emerging Leaders ($90,000). YIP programs provide services for youth including truancy prevention, literacy and academic assistance, behavioral interventions and counseling, mentoring, juvenile justice system diversions and restorative justice, after-school activities, career exploration and life skills classes, and emergency youth shelter. Many programs serve culturally specific populations or employ gender specific services.

Workforce Development. has additionally partnered on the following grants:

•Pathways to Prosperity River Region Manufacturing Grant in partnership with Hiawatha Valley Adult Education, Red Wing, ($400,000). This program will provide manufacturing training and will serve individuals currently incarcerated and those preparing to exit the corrections system.

•Pathways to Prosperity Bridges to Public Sector Careers Rochester Adult and Family Literacy, ($190,000). This program will provide training for public sector and maintenance careers and will serve individuals eligible for the program.

On an annual basis, Workforce Development, Inc. serves thousands of people through career planning and pre-vocational skill training. One area of focus of Workforce Development, Inc. is working with populations dealing with multiple barriers to achieving meaningful employment.