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Minnesota State Mankato, Business Partners Receive Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Grants Totaling More than $700,000

The three grants were among 26 workforce development grants that DEED awarded to Minnesota State colleges and universities June 17.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 9-11-2019

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Mankato, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has awarded Minnesota State University, Mankato and three businesses grant money for shared Minnesota Job Skills Partnership grants totaling $736,674.

The three grants were among 26 workforce development grants that DEED awarded to Minnesota State colleges and universities June 17. A list of funded projects is available at

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), under the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Program, educational institutions and businesses work together to secure MJSP funding.

Minnesota State Mankato’s associate vice president of strategic partnerships, Bobby Fleischman, and the University’s program coordinator for strategic partnerships, Tammy Bohlke, each said the grants were important in furthering collaboration between businesses and the University.

“Funding from the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership is a key resource for Mankato-area businesses seeking to grow the skills of their employees and address their workforce development needs,” said Fleischman. “We are deeply indebted to this signature state program for its support of Minnesota State University, Mankato.”

“The MJSP program and our business partners are helping us serve the workforce of the future through creative collaborations and the development of new curriculum to train employees,” said Bohlke.

Minnesota Job Skills Partnership grants involving Minnesota State Mankato are listed below. For more information on the grants, please contact Bohlke by phone at 507-389-2572 or by email at

Minnesota State Mankato and Mankato Clinic – $397,100
According to the June 17 DEED grant award announcement summary, the Mankato Clinic will partner with Minnesota State Mankato to develop and deliver training that for 864 employees (84 new hires). All employees will participate in a safety/de-escalation and violence prevention course. New simulation skills training that provides employees up to 30 continuing education units will be delivered at Minnesota State Mankato’s state-of-the-art simulation center, using a new portable mannequin. Through training, Mankato Clinic employees will increase their competency and confidence in providing innovative quality care. Patients will also benefit through improved quality outcomes and improved relationships.

Minnesota State Mankato and Dotson Iron Castings – $290,203
According to the June 17 DEED grant award announcement summary, Dotson Iron Castings was founded in 1876 and is the oldest manufacturer in Mankato. Dotson provides innovative casting solutions for a variety of manufacturing markets, including agriculture equipment, heavy truck, industrial and construction. Dotson has found that recruiting employees for the physically demanding foundry work is challenging; retaining workers is equally challenging. Dotson leadership defined becoming an exceptional employer as one of its key initiatives for 2019 with one of the main strategies to focus on training and development. Minnesota State Mankato will work with Dotson to write new curriculum for company training. A total of 185 employees (75 new) will receive training in areas applicable to their position. Training will provide employees with increased knowledge and skills along with the opportunity to advance in their job responsibilities and increase their rate of pay.

Minnesota State Mankato and TSI Plastics, Inc. – $49,371
According to the June 17 DEED grant award announcement summary, TSI Plastics has been a leading manufacturer of precision molded materials for a broad range of applications for more than 50 years. Industries served include aerospace, military, computer, electronic, medical, food service and construction. In the last several years, TSI has invested in upgrading their facilities, relocating to a new location in Blaine that will allow them to continue to expand. Currently, TSI employs 45 individuals and anticipates adding five new employees over the next two years. To continue its commitment to grow production capabilities and workforce skills, TSI needs training to engage their workforce and help grow the next generation of leaders. TSI will collaborate with Minnesota State Mankato to develop training that will be delivered on-site at TSI for all 50 of its employees. Through training, management and leaders will be better equipped to confront issues in a productive way, work through problems methodically and help employees maximize productivity.

The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership works with businesses and educational institutions to train or retrain workers, expand work opportunities and keep high-quality jobs in the state.

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 or follow DEED on Twitter.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,227 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 30 colleges and seven universities.

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