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Minnesota State Mankato and Business Partners Receive Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Grants

Three grants total more than $500,000.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 6-30-2014

Mankato, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) recently announced that Minnesota State University, Mankato and several businesses will share in three Minnesota Job Skills Partnership grants totaling more than $500,000.

The grants were among more than $3.3 million that DEED awarded to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and the College of St. Scholastica to train 4,482 current and new employees of 34 businesses.

The grants were awarded under the agency’s Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Program. The program works strategically with both businesses and educational institutions to train or retrain workers, expand work opportunities and keep high-quality jobs in the state. In this grant round, the program leveraged about $6.8 million from partners.

Minnesota Job Skills Partnership grants involving Minnesota State Mankato are listed below. For more information on the grants, please contact Jan Bauer, director of Continuing Education & Professional Development at Minnesota State Mankato, by phone at 507-389-1094 or by email at

Minnesota State University, Mankato; Firmenich in New Ulm - $49,697
Firmenich is the largest privately-owned company in the perfume and flavor business with more than 6,000 employees in 64 countries. Minnesota State Mankato will partner with the business to develop and deliver training for 93 employees at the New Ulm manufacturing location. Training will include Six Sigma Green Belt and leadership skills. New Ulm will be Firmenich’s first plant worldwide to have achieved Green Belt Six Sigma status. As a result of the grant, Minnesota State Mankato will expand its Six Sigma and leadership courses.

Minnesota State University, Mankato; Michael Foods in Minnetonka and Northern Star Co. in Chaska - $300,000
A customized training program will be delivered to 771 employees over a three-year period. Training will allow the company to increase productivity and meet customer demand; employees will acquire new skills, increase their marketability and have the opportunity to advance within the company. Training will be provided in the areas of process improvement, leadership and Mechatronics. Minnesota State Mankato will gain knowledge in the agricultural food processing industry and Mechatronics through the partnership.

Minnesota State University, Mankato; Truck Bodies & Equipment International in Lake Crystal - $156,991
Truck Bodies & Equipment International consists of five leading manufacturers of dump bodies, landscape bodies, platforms, hoists and truck and trailer equipment and accessories. The company will partner with Minnesota State Mankato to develop customized training to 145 current and 75 new employees. Training will be provided in the areas of A3 Project Kaizen, Six Sigma, Leadership, and Welding. The training is expected to improve the company’s efficiency and sustainability. Employees will acquire new skills that will increase their marketability and give them the opportunity to advance within the company.

A complete list of all the grants awarded by DEED is available in a June 26 press release available here.

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 Follow DEED on Twitter at

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,409 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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