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Innovation Institute secures DEED grant

BEMIDJI — The Minnesota Innovation Institute has secured a $370,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development that will benefit Northwest Technical College in educating various individuals.

The grant, announced in a press release last week from Sen. Tom Saxhaug, DFL-Grand Rapids, will allow MI2 to help American Indians, low-income and underemployed individuals find full-time employment.

MI2 aims to connect job seekers with employers first and then training them for specific positions, many of them in the manufacturing field.

“This is an exciting opportunity for public and private industry to collaborate and meet the educational needs in the region for precision manufacturing,” said John Centko, Northwest Technical College’s provost/vice president, in the release. “Business and industry have been very supportive of our new model, and we hope to have a positive impact on their labor needs.”

Another component of the new program is recruitment. NTC says the program will try to reach out to locate potential customers, especially Native American populations in area tribes, the Northwest Indian OIC, Beltrami Works and Beltrami County.