Bridges to Healthcare receives employment and training funds for the Southeast Region

Published 5:38 pm Friday, August 25, 2023

Workforce Development, Inc., an independent, non-profit agency serving the needs of job seekers and  employers in Southeast Minnesota, was recently awarded a direct appropriation for the Bridges to  Healthcare program in the total of $1.5 million for state fiscal years 2024-2025. 

This appropriation will continue to support existing programming in Olmsted, Freeborn, Mower, and  Steele counties. This will also support expansion efforts into Rice County and potential expansion plans to  Goodhue and Winona Counties, following the same model that has been in place in Rochester  since 2013.

The Bridges to Careers model has changed policies, curricula, support systems and institutional  relationships. The Bridges model has been identified as a promising practice focused on career pathway  programming with employer engagement by the U.S. Department of Education, and has been honored by both the Humphrey Institute and Harvard University.

Email newsletter signup

The strong public/private partnerships between Workforce Development, Inc. (WDI), Adult Basic  Education Centers (Rochester, Austin, Albert Lea, Owatonna, Faribault, and Red Wing), South Central College, Minnesota State College Southeast, Northfield Hospital and Mayo Clinic have built the  foundation for another Bridges to Healthcare program in Southeast Minnesota to include other area long term care employers. These partners have collaborated on program design, implementation, expansion,  and financial/navigational support. They have teamed to recruit, prepare, and support diverse, well trained, certified, and compassionate students and transition them to employment for Southeast  Minnesota healthcare providers through the below process.

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. The organization’s mission is to develop and advance  the workforce of Southeast Minnesota, with a vision to develop and advance the workforce of Southeast  Minnesota by acting as a champion for workers, a convening agent bringing partners together to solve  workforce problems, a change agent to promote and facilitate innovation and creative solutions, and the  agency accountable to the individuals, businesses and communities we serve, providing measurable  change.