Skip to main content

Governor Walz Announces Recipients of $20 Million in Training for Five High-Demand Career Areas

Funding will train and place 1,200 Minnesotans over the next 15 months; benefit 3,000 businesses


[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz announced the recipients of nearly $20 million in grants to grow Minnesota’s workforce through the Drive for Five Workforce initiative, a new effort to prepare more Minnesotans for high-demand jobs in five occupational categories: technology, the trades, caring professions, manufacturing, and education. MPMA was awarded a grant of $800,000 focused on Job Placement, Diversity Inclusion & Retention services.

“We’re partnering with organizations across the state to expand job training programs and grow the workforce for the future,” said Governor Walz. “By investing in career training, we’re helping businesses find the skilled workers they need while helping Minnesotans find fulfilling careers and earn family-sustaining wages. This is good for our workers, our businesses, and our economy.”

The Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED) Drive for Five program provides grants to workforce training and business organizations. The grant recipients will train and place an estimated 1,200 Minnesotans over the next 15 months in high-demand jobs, benefiting an estimated 3,000 Minnesota businesses.

“Today is a big day for Minnesota workers and Minnesota employers. The grantees announced today will engage together in a holistic approach that will closely align training with sector skills needs – while targeting family-sustaining, high-demand, career-path employment,” said DEED Commissioner Matt Varilek. “The breadth of the initiative’s geographic and industry reach, coupled with the depth of experience and the dedication of our partners, will provide program participants throughout the state with life-changing opportunities and help Minnesota employers hire the skilled employees they need now. It’s one of the ways DEED is delivering for Minnesota’s workers.”

The industries selected to be part of Drive for Five are projected to be high-growth in the years ahead and provide family-sustaining wages for workers, defined as having a median hourly wage at or above $19.46. Drive for Five will benefit Minnesotans who want to join the labor force in these in-demand fields and who need training and employment assistance. It will benefit Minnesota’s economy by preparing people for in-demand careers and meeting the needs of employers.

“We’re excited to announce this great slate of Drive for Five grantees. I’m looking forward to the work we’ll do together over the coming years” said DEED Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Development Marc Majors. “ Workforce training institutions that receive Drive for Five funding will launch or expand job training programs in high-growth industries that will lead to moving Minnesotans into family sustainable wage careers in caring professions, education, manufacturing, technology, and the trades.”

The Drive for Five initiative is part of a slate of historic workforce development investments at DEED. The state is investing more than $216 million in DEED’s Employment and Training Programs through June 30, 2025, including $20 million for Drive for Five and $50 million to support workforce development in historically overlooked communities through the Targeted Populations Workforce Development Programs initiative. This significant investment will help Minnesota address its ongoing tight labor market as well as achieve a more equitable economy.

Find the full list of grant recipients here. 

Post by MPMA
May 7, 2024

Get the Precision Manufacturing Journal

For more than 60 years, Precision Manufacturing Journal has helped Minnesota manufacturers stay competitive with the latest industry news. This award-winning, bi-monthly magazine is one of our greatest membership benefits, and is available free of charge to any manufacturer in Minnesota.

Screenshot 2023-02-15 at 2.22.20 PM