By Marsha Danielson, Dean of Economic Development Marsha_Danielson

CBI Partners to Offer Manufacturing Welding Academy
The SCC Center for Business and Industry has partnered with Workforce Development, Inc. (WDI) to help train students for the welding career certification pathway. In addition to the welding education, students receive additional training including the OSHA 10-Hour Safety Certification and Forklift Operating and Safety Training. The Manufacturing Welding Academy is made possible through a recently awarded Minnesota State Energy Sector Partnership Grant.

Welding skills remain in high demand in Southern Minnesota. Many of the students enrolled in this program are dislocated workers and share the common goal of wanting to obtain consistent employment in a field where they are needed. This is the third cohort to complete the Manufacturing Welding Academy. South Central College is the partner of choice for the Manufacturing Welding Academy because students are able to certify their welds with an in-house instructor and because CBI can provide certified subject matter experts to provide the OSHA 10-Hour training and the forklift and safety training.
For more information about the Manufacturing Welding Academy contact Brian Knutson at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Skills@Work Action Team Develops Action Plan to Narrow SE MN Skills Gap
Not enough students or incumbent workers are seeking or are qualified for the region’s high-demand jobs. For many this is because they lack real-world experience and understanding of these jobs. Other students and potential workers are unaware of the educational pathways to the region’s high-demand jobs and careers.

SCC Dean of Economic Development, Marsha Danielson recently served on the Southeast Minnesota Skills@Work Action Team as part of a statewide campaign to develop regional action plans to ensure Minnesota has the skilled workforce it needs to compete in the global economy.

The SE MN Action Plan was designed during three intense work sessions in October and November 2012 with these outcomes:
Pilot Solution 1:
• Internship Connections
Initial Outcome:
• Increase the number of students/workers receiving real world work experiences.
Initial Strategy:
• Increase regional business connections with easy access to talent.
Future Implementation Strategies Outcomes:
• Increase the number of faculty and education connections to business.
• Southeast Minnesota is recognized for its internship programs and ability to attract and retain top talent.

Pilot Solution 2:
• Day in the Life of Work
Initial Outcome:
• Students and workers understand the skill/education pathways for regional high demand jobs.
Initial Strategy:
• Map skill/education pathways to regional jobs.
Future Implementation Strategies Outcomes:
• All people understand a collective set of expectations for performance and behavior in the workplace.
• All workers understand the consequences related to managing their life and job performance.

Learn more about the skills gap in our area, the details of the SE MN Action Plan and sign up for campaign updates at