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Workforce Development
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Leader in Precision Manufacturing

One of the missions of the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association is to continually identify and engage our membership in those activities that develop and support a fully-integrated precision manufacturing presence in Minnesota.

The Workforce Development Committee oversees most funding requests presented to the MPMA. The goals of the Workforce Development Committee are:

  • To develop and/or support programs that attracts and train workers into the field of precision manufacturing.
  • To provide training to incumbent workers of member companies.

All requests for funding must directly contribute to the overall goals of the MPMA in order to be considered for funding.

Click here to download a funding request application.

Five Partnerships Earn Youth Skills Training Grants

Five partnerships have each been awarded $95,000 Youth Skills Training (YST) grants to develop and implement paid-learning opportunities for students 16 years of age and older.

The grants were awarded in early 2019 and are part of a Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (YST@DLI) program, which was signed into law in 2017 with bipartisan support, to create and provide employment training for student learners ages 16 and older in high-growth, high-demand occupations. MPMA spearheaded the legislation that created the program.

"These grants allow high schools, businesses and community organizations to work together to train students and create skilled workers for their communities," said Ken Peterson, DLI commissioner.

YST@DLI grants will be awarded to the following partnerships, who represent 25 school districts and more than 50 employer partners in advanced manufacturing, health care and agriculture.

  • ISD 728 serving the communities of Elk River, Otsego, Rogers and Zimmerman
  • ISD 831 Forest Lake Area Schools
  • ISD 287 Pathways to College
  • Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council
  • Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation

Grant money can be used to create programs, recruit students and employers, provide training, transport students and pay for student certifications.

About YST@DLI Program

The YST@DLI Program develops partnership programs at a local level, which are then implemented in cooperation with employers and schools, to provide classroom instruction and paid learning opportunities in industries such as manufacturing, information technology, health care, and automotive.

For more information about the Youth Skills Training Program or grant opportunities, contact Rich Wessels at 651-284-5184 or

To view a PowerPoint presentation about New Opportunities in Employment-Based Training,

in the state of Minnesota, please click here.

Local Workforce Initiatives

MPMA is working to expand the available workforce through initiatives aimed at attracting new people into the field of manufacturing, supporting them with scholarships and programs once enrolled in school and also encouraging our retired employees to serve as mentors for those new to the field.

By focusing our efforts in diverse areas, we are reaching out and spreading the word about the benefits of entering and being a part of the manufacturing industry. MPMA supports and is affiliated with these initiatives:

Dream It. Do It. Minnesota Tour of Manufacturing: Each year, MPMA members are encouraged to take part in the annual Dream It. Do It. Minnesota Statewide Tour of Manufacturing and be a part of changing the perception about advanced manufacturing.

Minnesota Supermileage Challenge – The Challenge takes students with a variety of technology education experiences, as well as core curriculum backgrounds and then forms teams whose purpose it is to design, fabricate and test one-person vehicles capable of achieving ultra high miles per gallon ratings.

Minnesota Project Lead the Way – This hands-on project and real world problem based program is all about teaching, learning and adding rigor to traditional technical programs and relevance to traditional academics. The students learn to understand how the skills they are learning in the classroom can be applied to everyday life.

SkillsUSA Minnesota – SkillsUSA Minnesota creates opportunities for students, educators and business. This is accomplished through leadership training, volunteerism opportunities, competitions and conferences, which enhance students' self-worth and employability skills to create a seamless transition into the workforce.

US First Robotics Competition – This competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and enter them in competitions.

VEX Robotics Competition– The VEX Robotics Competition, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, is the ultimate STEM activity for middle school and high school students (ages 11-18). Each year, an engineering challenge is presented in the form of a game. Students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, use the VEX Robotics Design System to build innovative robots designed to score the most points possible in qualification matches, elimination matches and Skills Challenges. In addition to having a great time and building amazing robots, through their participation in the VEX Robotics Competition and their work within their team, students will learn many academic and life skills. For more information contact Jessica Gehrke at 218-755-2209 or