Klobuchar, Franken, Peterson, Nolan Announce $300,000 to Support Construction of Technical Training Center at Northwest Technical College in Bemidji

Sep 29, 2015 Issues: Education

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, along with Representatives Collin Peterson and Rick Nolan, today announced that Northwest Technical College will receive a $300,000 grant through the Economic Development Administration to support the construction of a technical training center on its Bemidji campus. The center, which will feature a new welding and fabrication lab, will help increase training opportunities for middle- and high-skilled manufacturing trades.

“In order to compete in the 21st century, we need to ensure our students and workers have the skills today for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Klobuchar. “We have businesses in Minnesota that need workers and workers that need jobs, but oftentimes their skills just aren’t matching up. This support will help close this gap by providing students at Northwest Technical College in Bemidji with the skills they need to compete in the global economy.”    

“All across the country, there are millions of open jobs that could be filled today if there were workers who had the right skills,” said Franken. “This support will go a long way towards bringing together Northwest Technical College and businesses to train workers for in-demand jobs. Filling these open jobs will benefit workers, businesses, and communities in Minnesota and around the country.”

“There are jobs available across Minnesota that aren’t being filled because of a lack of skilled workers. I hear about this from business owners throughout the Seventh district,” said Peterson. “This grant will allow Northwest Technical College to provide the advanced skills needed in today’s job environment. They will be able to continue their work to provide affordable and accessible educational opportunities in a variety of career fields, helping to keep Minnesota business competitive and support our economy.”

"This grant for Northwest Technical could not have come at a better time to help fulfill critical needs,” said Nolan. “In touring manufacturing businesses throughout our region, employers tell me again and again of the difficulties they encounter in finding workers highly skilled in welding, fabrication and other construction trades. This grant is seed money for a training center that will pay for itself many times over through the people who will go on to enjoy great careers supporting our communities with their good paying jobs." 

The Economic Development Administration, a bureau within the Department of Commerce, awards grants through a competitive process based upon the application’s merit, the applicant’s eligibility, and the availability of funds.