BEMIDJI -- The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry is partnering with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education to enhance the state's workforce through training opportunities.

Both state agencies are working to provide $3.4 million in grants to support the Minnesota Dual-Training Pipeline program. The program offers opportunities to trainees at companies to be part of the workforce and earn money while also receiving an education.

Doing so allows those trainees to earn a variety of degrees, certifications and credentials. As part of the program, four industries are eligible for grants, including advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services and information technology.

Four local entities receiving grants include:

  • Elder Care of Bemidji.
  • Greater Bemidji Economic Development.
  • Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota.

  • Pequot Tool and Manufacturing.
  • Red Lake Comprehensive Health Services.
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"We continue to hear from employees how much they appreciate the opportunity to receive training for career advancement, while at the same time earning a paycheck," Minnesota Office of Higher Education Commissioner Dennis Olson said. "We are very fortunate we were able to offer grants to all of the eligible applicants this year."

"The Minnesota Dual-Training Pipeline is helping employers meet their workforce needs by combining on-the-job training with classroom learning to provide an in-demand skill for workers," said Roslyn Robertson, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry commissioner. "As our state overcomes the challenges of the pandemic and our economy moves forward, apprenticeships and dual training continue to be important training models that will help Minnesota employers recruit and retain employees. We are excited to continue our support of employers and workers with this new round of grants."