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Workforce Development
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Leader in Precision Manufacturing

One of the missions of the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association is to continually identify and engage our membership in those activities that develop and support a fully-integrated precision manufacturing presence in Minnesota.

The Workforce Development Committee oversees most funding requests presented to the MPMA. The goals of the Workforce Development Committee are:

  • To develop and/or support programs that attracts and train workers into the field of precision manufacturing.
  • To provide training to incumbent workers of member companies.

All requests for funding must directly contribute to the overall goals of the MPMA in order to be considered for funding.

Click here to download a funding request application.


Youth Skills Training Program

Manufacturers across the state will soon begin seeing more young workers-in-training on the shop floor thanks to a new initiative designed to boost high school internship and apprenticeship programs.

The Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association (MPMA) successfully spearheaded the legislative effort to create the Youth Skills Training Program, based in part on successful youth apprenticeship models in Wisconsin and Colorado.

The key components of the Youth Skills Training Program:

  • Allows high school “student learners” under 18 to do work-based internships and apprenticeships on the shop floor
  • Provides schools with the support needed to help work-based internship and apprenticeship programs succeed in their communities.
  • Promotes employer participation in equipping students with the skills and competencies needed for success in careers in the manufacturing industry.

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry has begun implementation of the program this summer. Five pilot projects will be funded starting in 2018.

To view a PowerPoint presentation about New Opportunities in Employment-Based Training,

in the state of Minnesota, please click here.


Local Workforce Initiatives

MPMA is working to expand the available workforce through initiatives aimed at attracting new people into the field of manufacturing, supporting them with scholarships and programs once enrolled in school and also encouraging our retired employees to serve as mentors for those new to the field.

By focusing our efforts in diverse areas, we are reaching out and spreading the word about the benefits of entering and being a part of the manufacturing industry. MPMA supports and is affiliated with these initiatives:

Minnesota Supermileage Challenge – The Challenge takes students with a variety of technology education experiences, as well as core curriculum backgrounds and then forms teams whose purpose it is to design, fabricate and test one-person vehicles capable of achieving ultra high miles per gallon ratings.

Minnesota Project Lead the Way – This hands-on project and real world problem based program is all about teaching, learning and adding rigor to traditional technical programs and relevance to traditional academics. The students learn to understand how the skills they are learning in the classroom can be applied to everyday life.

SkillsUSA Minnesota – SkillsUSA Minnesota creates opportunities for students, educators and business. This is accomplished through leadership training, volunteerism opportunities, competitions and conferences, which enhance students' self-worth and employability skills to create a seamless transition into the workforce.

US First Robotics Competition – This competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and enter them in competitions.

VEX Robotics Competition– The VEX Robotics Competition, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, is the ultimate STEM activity for middle school and high school students (ages 11-18). Each year, an engineering challenge is presented in the form of a game. Students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, use the VEX Robotics Design System to build innovative robots designed to score the most points possible in qualification matches, elimination matches and Skills Challenges. In addition to having a great time and building amazing robots, through their participation in the VEX Robotics Competition and their work within their team, students will learn many academic and life skills. For more information contact Jessica Gehrke at 218-755-2209 or jgehrke@bemidjistate.edu.