RCTC Awarded Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Grant

(Rochester, MN) Rochester Community and Technical College’s Center for Business and Workforce Education, in collaboration with Olmsted Medical Center (OMC), has been awarded a Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP) grant totaling $49,931. The grant will be used to develop training and expand employment opportunities for Medical Laboratory Technician Assistants (MLTAs).

Rochester and Southeastern Minnesota are facing workforce challenges in the healthcare sector, primarily due to retirements as a result of the increased aging of our society. Innovators, like OMC, are thinking differently about their hiring and training practices and are seeking ways to increase their investment in their employees. According to Paula Wegman, OMC’s Human Resources education and onboarding coordinator, “The goal of the grant is to provide job advancement opportunities and to continue to provide growth opportunities to our staff.”

Wegman also explains, “As OMC continues to grow its services to the residents of Southeast Minnesota, the need for MLTAs has also grown.” OMC utilizes MLTAs to provide specimen collection and processing at the hospital, the Rochester Southeast Clinic, and the Rochester Northwest Clinic, as well as the 11 branch clinics located in Southeast Minnesota.

MJSP allocates grants to educational institutions that are working to expand employment opportunities in growth sectors within Minnesota’s economy to keep high-quality jobs in the state. These grants are distributed through the custom training departments at the colleges and require training to be developed for the partnering business’ needs. RCTC’s Director for Business and Workforce Education, Jennifer Wilson, Ph.D., states, “The MJSP grant allows us to partner with OMC to create a short-term MLTA training program which will be comprised of 80 hours of online coursework, 64 hours of practical lab application, and 96 on-the-job training hours.  At the end of the training, the students will have the opportunity to have gained two industry certificates: one in phlebotomy and the other for the American Society for Clinical Pathology Medical Laboratory Assistant.”

The grant comes at a time when employers, like OMC, are looking at alternative ways to focus on investing in their employees. Dr. Wilson added, “We are fortunate to partner with OMC, an organization that continues to be an exceptional partner and leader within our region and is known for providing its patients with convenient, quality personal care.”

For further information on RCTC’s MJSP grant, contact Dr. Jennifer Wilson at 507-529-2736.