PINE CITY, Minn. – The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP) grant for low-income workers, administered by the Employment and Training Center (ETC) at Pine Technical College, still has significant funding available to support about 50 students choosing to pursue training in either the healthcare or manufacturing industry. With $99,348 originally awarded in August, 2012, the program’s goals include the provision of training and job placement services for 64 low-income individuals in the healthcare and manufacturing industries.
“We are proud that at the start of the Spring, 2013 semester, the program has been successful so far in the fact that we’ve served about 15 students,” says Tony Gantenbein, Executive Director of the Employment and Training Center. “Today, it’s more important than ever to support our regional economy in workforce development, and the training this program provides leads directly to jobs that offer livable wages with opportunities for advancement,” Gantenbein adds.
The MJSP grant program runs through February, 2014, and eligible applicants may still apply. Courses supported through the program include a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) course, which is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions as a nursing assistant in a long-term care facilities or hospitals, and an Introduction to Manufacturing and Welding course, which is designed to provide knowledge of welding principles and safety considerations in a manufacturing environment with a focus on developing the basics of wire feed, tungsten inert gas (TIG), gas metal arc (MIG), and shielded welding metal arc (Stick) welding (SMAW). Credentials gained from both courses are approved by industry associations and the state.
“Entry-level CNAs earn as much as $15 per hour, and entry-level welding and manufacturing workers earn as much as $18 per hour, and both courses and training options lead to jobs that really make a difference,” Gantenbein says. “We are very proud of not only our history of making training accessible for workers in our region, but also for providing trained workers that meet the needs of area employers as well,” Gantenbein adds.
The grant is made available through the MJSP, a state program that works strategically with businesses and educational institutions to train or retrain workers, expand work opportunities, and keep high-quality jobs in the state. The MJSP’s training grants are used to offset training-related expenses incurred by business, industry and educational institutions necessary to meet current and future workforce needs.
Pine Technical College, established in 1965 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, serves more than 1,200 students and awards certificates, diplomas and associate degrees. PTC’s notable programs include accounting, American Sign Language, automotive technology, business administration, business technology, computer programming, computer science, early childhood development, gunsmithing technology, network administration, practical nursing, precision manufacturing/machining (CNC), medical assistant, human services eligibility worker and many more.
PTC is a proud member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, which is comprised of 31 state universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves more than 270,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 150,000 students in noncredit courses. The nursing assistant course is offered on an ongoing basis, and the next start date is March 19; dates for the welding course will be available soon. Additionally, PTC is accepting applications for new students in all programs; summer courses will start June 3. For more information about the MJSP Low Income Worker Grant Program and courses supported by it, call PTC’s Continuing Education and Customized Training department at 320-629-5176. For general information about the college overall, call 320-629-5100.