June 25, 2024

EDA: $1.6 Million Invested to Strengthen the Manufacturing Workforce in Southwest Minnesota

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.6 million grant to the Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Worthington, Minnesota. This grant will help address the growing demand for skilled workers in robotics, fluid power/advanced hydraulics, welding and CNC machining training in southwest Minnesota. 

The community will purchase and outfit a mobile mechatronics classroom and customized welding trailer to expand manufacturing workforce training at the college’s campuses in Lyon and Nobles counties.

This EDA investment will be matched with $399,265 in local funds and is expected to create and retain 250 jobs and generate $1 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to making sure workers in Minnesota and across the country can get the skills they need for quality jobs in growing tech and manufacturing industries,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will help tackle the manufacturing worker shortage in Minnesota and across the country to draw further private investment, boost the regional economy, and make our country more competitive.”

“The U.S. Economic Development Administration is pleased to support the Minnesota West Community and Technical College as it builds a robust skilled workforce in southwest Minnesota,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will provide essential equipment needed to train much-needed workers skilled in mechatronics and welding. By expanding workforce training opportunities in the region, this project also provides new jobs that will ensure economic benefits are shared equally throughout the region.”

“Technical and community colleges play a critical role in meeting the demand for skilled manufacturing, and it’s fantastic to see the Biden administration investing in Minnesota schools that will help us train and educate the workforce of the future. This grant will help us meet labor needs, create jobs, and ensure America leads in innovation,” said Senator Tina Smith.

“Southern Minnesota has world-class technical programs that equip young people with the experience they need to modernize and meet the demands of today’s workforce,” said Representative Brad Finstad (MN-01). “Minnesota West Community and Technical College has done great work to ensure the readiness of the next generation in the workplace, and I am happy to see that they receive the funding they need to continue to grow welding and robotics programs which will strengthen the skilled workforce in Minnesota’s First District.”

This project is funded under the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023, which provided EDA with $483 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas that received a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Act as a result of Hurricanes Ian and Fiona, wildfires, flooding, and other natural disasters occurring in calendar years 2021 and 2022. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

This post was originally published here.