Archived Story

Workforce grant awarded to Initiative Fund in Fergus [UPDATED]

Published 9:15am Monday, May 20, 2013 Updated 11:16am Monday, May 20, 2013

West Central Initiative awarded eight projects for its second annual Competitive Workforce Grant award. The purpose of the grant program is to improve the economy of west central Minnesota by providing one year of start-up funding for organizations and communities to launch new, promising workforce development strategies that address skill shortages in the region.

Central Minnesota Area Health Education Center (AHEC) received $10,283 for its program “Cultivating Our Own: Healthcare Career Exploration.” AHEC will partner with post-secondary schools and healthcare employers to provide area high school students with experiential learning opportunities that are focused on healthcare. This includes a Healthcare Career Bus Cruise (a day-long event at the University of Minnesota Health Career Center) and Camps2Careers (three-day overnight at the University of Minnesota Morris).

“We are extremely grateful to receive the Competitive Workforce Grant funding. It is vital that students are exposed to careers early on so that they can plan accordingly for a successful educational journey.

Healthcare career exploration activities are valuable tools to proactively address the growing workforce needs in healthcare,” said Central MN AHEC Executive Director Laurissa Stigen.

The awardees were chosen because of their capacity to:

• meet the needs of both employers and workers in west central Minnesota;

• allow an organization to stretch and experiment with new ways to address skill shortages in west central Minnesota; and

• test promising approaches likely to result in people securing jobs that pay family-sustaining incomes.

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