RCTC Receives Two Dual-Training Pipeline Grants

(Rochester, MN) Rochester Community and Technical College’s Center for Business and Workforce Education, will participate in a collaboration with Olmsted Medical Center (OMC) and Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association (IMAA) both of which were awarded dual-training grants.

Established by the Minnesota Legislature in 2014, these grants are a part of the Minnesota Private Investment, Public Education, Labor and Industry Experience (PIPELINE) Program, which provide financial assistance to structure on-the-job training and related instruction so employees can develop the skills necessary to successfully become employed in a high-demand career. RCTC’s Director for Business and Workforce Education, Jennifer Wilson Ph.D., states “The idea behind these grants is for education to collaborate with industry and develop a highly rigorous training program.”

According to the Department of Labor and Industry, the dual-training grant is an “earn-while-you-learn approach where the employer invests in their employee to become trained to an industry standard for a specific occupation” (https://www.dli.mn.gov/pipeline). These training programs must be in one of four workforce industry areas including advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services, or information technology. Once individuals complete their training, the employer will provide a living wage to the employee.  What makes these grants unusual is that they must have an on-the job component built into the curriculum which is provided by the employer.

In addition, the PIPELINE grants differ from many other grants because funds can be used to cover student/employees’ tuition, fees and required materials allowing the training to be developed as a credit or non-credit program.  Ultimately, the ideal is for individuals to receive an industry credential, which validates their skills in the industry.

RCTC’s Business and Workforce Education department will be working with Olmsted Medical Center to develop a training program that will expand employment opportunities for Medical Laboratory Technician Assistants (MLTAs) as well as work with IMAA and other regional partners on a Community Health Worker certificate program.  To learn more about PIPELINE dual-training grants go to www.ohe.state.mn.us or contact RCTC’s Dr. Jennifer Wilson at 507-529-2736.

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About IMAA

Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association (IMAA) was founded in 1984 by Mr. Robert “Bob” Jones III (1942-2011). He identified a need to empower refugees to develop and lead self-help programs. It was with this vision that Mr. Jones founded IMAA. Refugees and immigrants arrive in Rochester from many different countries around the world including Somalia, Syria, Ethiopia, Sudan, Burma, Bhutan, and Iraq. They have demonstrated strength, perseverance, resourcefulness, and courage in the face of remarkable hardships and challenges. IMAA has served hundreds of newcomers every year by helping to create stability, self-sufficiency, independence, and to build community. As a result, many have attained these goals and have become engaged, established, and contributing members of the community.

About OMC

Olmsted Medical Center is a not-for-profit organization and has been southeastern Minnesota’s hometown healthcare provider since 1949.  Each year, the Olmsted Medical Center team sees over 316,000 patients and has more than 35 specialties.  The non-profit serves 20 locations, including two multi-specialty clinics, a Level IV trauma hospital with a 24-hour emergency room, a Skyway Clinic in downtown Rochester and 11 community branch clinics. OMC also offers walk-in FastCare and Acute Care clinics.

About RCTC

Established in 1915, RCTC is the largest higher education provider in the fastest-growing city in Minnesota, serving more than 8,000 students a year in credit courses and nearly 3,700 in non-credit continuing and workforce education programs. RCTC combines the best in liberal arts, technical, and life-long learning with more than 70 credit-based programs and over 100 credential options. RCTC’s expansive 518-acre campus includes university partnerships, a diverse student body, and a vibrant student life program. RCTC provides a unique learning environment that offers the feel of a four-year university campus with the commitment to access and opportunity of a two-year college.

The Minnesota State system consists of 37 colleges and universities with over 16,000 employees offering nearly 4,000 educational programs to nearly 400,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system in the United States.

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