MVAC receives $200,000 DEED Grant

By Joe Steck – Mankato Times

ST PAUL, MINN. — The Minnesota Valle Action Council received a $200,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) that will help young people gain job skills and work experience, as well as introduce them to career pathways.

In all, 25 groups received $7.3 million in two-year grants awarded through DEED’s Office of Youth Development, which administers youth employment and training programs and services.

The funding will provide services to young people who are under-represented in the workforce, economically disadvantaged and at-risk. An estimated 5,000 young people will be served by this round of funding.

“Early exposure to work experiences is the top predictor of future career success,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “These grants will give young people hands-on experience that will help them succeed in tomorrow’s workforce.”

Minnesota Valley Action Council, (Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet and Sibley counties), will use the $200,000 to help youth from communities of color, helping them learn about the education and training required for careers in high-demand occupations.

Heather Gleason, South Central Workforce Council, which overseas the program for MVAC said “The funding will give us an opportunity to work with the youth in the area. We will be able to do career exploration, let them know what is available and provide them with work experiences.”

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website

Funding was awarded to the following groups:

Project for Pride Living, (Minneapolis), $400,000

Disconnected young people will participate in the Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP) program to increase their opportunities for education and employment.

City of Minneapolis (STEP-UP), $1 million

Minneapolis youth will participate in an array of employment and training services to help them gain skills to achieve life-long economic self-sufficiency.

EMERGE, (Minneapolis), $350,000

Young people ages 14 to 24 will receive job placement assistance.

YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, (Twin Cities metro, primarily the suburbs), $500,000

Youth will participate in a program that will help them identify, pursue and succeed in a career.

Asian Media Access, (Twin Cities metro), $350,000

At-risk youth of color from ages 14 to 24 will receive education support, employment services, job readiness training, multimedia/digital technology skills development and entrepreneurship training.

City of St. Paul (Right Track), $800,000

Youth of color and youth with other barriers to employment will be exposed to job opportunities.

Cookie Cart, (north Minneapolis), $253,314

Neighborhood youth will help run a nonprofit bakery.

Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council, (southwestern Minnesota), $484,100

Young people ages 14 to 24 will learn basic work habits and skills and will develop educational and career goals by working with mentors.

Evergreen Youth and Family Services, (northwestern and north central Minnesota), $300,000

Youth will learn skills through workforce development and training programs and through job placement.

East Side Neighborhood Services, (Hennepin County, primarily Minneapolis), $150,000

Participants will learn about professionalism in the workplace, gain knowledge about one or more career pathways, earn a credential in a field, and gain hands-on professional experience.

Central Minnesota Jobs and Training, (central Minnesota), $200,000

Youth will learn work-readiness skills, receive credential training, work for a public, private or nonprofit entity, and receive job placement assistance.

Minnesota Computers for Schools, (Twin Cities metro), $200,000

Low-income youth and young adults of color will receive technology training and certification that will position them to pursue careers in information technology.

Bridge for Youth, (Hennepin County), $200,000

Homeless and at-risk youth will receive training that will help them develop employment skills.

Southeast Minnesota Workforce Development Inc., (southeastern Minnesota), $200,000

Youth with disabilities, youth of color and youth from other underserved populations will participate in work experiences, education and training.

Goodwill-Easter Seals of Minnesota, (Twin Cities and Stearns, Benton, Sherburne and Kandiyohi counties), $150,000

Young people ages 14 to 24 will have an opportunity to explore employment-related interests in such areas as automotive services, banking and finance, construction and medical services.

Elpis Enterprises, (Twin Cities, primarily Hennepin and Ramsey counties), $100,000

Young people ages 16 to 23 who are homeless or housed in uncertain circumstances will participate in paid work experiences in fields that interest them and will receive training support.

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, $400,000

Economically disadvantaged young people between the ages of 14 and 24 in Minneapolis will learn about the connection between academic, social and employment skills.

Stearns-Benton Employment and Training, (St. Cloud School District), $200,000

Economically disadvantaged and at-risk youth will explore careers through internships, work experience and community service.

Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa, (Twin Cities metro and Bemidji), $200,000

Diverse students from low-income households will earn stipends while learning and practicing job skills and will explore opportunities to enroll in college-level classes while still in high school.

Greater Bemidji, (Headwaters Region, Red Lake, Leech Lake and White Earth reservations), $200,000

Young people will explore careers in technical fields.

Anoka County Job Training Center, (Anoka County and surrounding communities), $100,000

Youth of color and youth with disabilities from low-income families will participate in educational and job-training opportunities.

City of Duluth, $110,756

Economically disadvantaged young people ages 18 to 24 will participate in workforce development and training opportunities.

City Academy High School, (St. Paul East Side), $100,000

Young people of color who dropped out of school and are at-risk will prepare for high-demand careers, particularly in the construction industry.

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, (Leech Lake Reservation), $163,030

American Indian youth from the Leech Lake Reservation will participate in a program that encourages career development.

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