The Center for Business and Industry, South Central College’s customized training and continuing education division, and Northern Star, a Chaska-based Minnesota potato processing company and division of Michael Foods Inc., will partner to provide training for 350 current and approximately 90 new employees.

The partnership is made possible through a $366,976 Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP) grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The grant will enable the SCC Center for Business and Industry (CBI) and Michael Foods to implement an innovative and comprehensive training process that will provide the company’s workforce with skills necessary so that the company can fully utilize its production capacity.

SCC President Dr. Annette Parker and Michael Foods Plant Operations Manager Deke Fischer will sign the MJSP agreement on Tuesday, June 6 at 2:30 pm at the Michael Food’s facility at 101 W 82nd Street in Chaska. Following the signing, Parker and Fischer, along with Michael Foods Monte Ackerman and CBI Director Jeff McCabe will discuss the details of the partnership.  

“Michael Foods is an extremely progressive company that cares about providing their employees with the skills they need to be successful on the job,” said Dr. Annette Parker, President of South Central College. “We are appreciative that this MJSP grant will bring the expertise of our CBI consultants to this growing company.” 

Courses will be provided by CBI in the areas of food safety, plant operations, craft maintenance and leadership enhancement, as well as employee orientation and language skills development. The training will enable Michael Foods to enhance the work environment and meet the company’s need to acquire the technical trade skills necessary to maintain adequate levels of employment and more quickly meet customer demand. As a result, Michael Foods will be able to employ a highly trained workforce and create opportunities for employee advancement.

“Michael Foods looks forward to partnering with South Central College because it helps us to create and deliver a training plan for our workers to develop the skills they need to move up in our organization and ultimately provide a sustainable and stable livable wage for themselves and their families, through skill development and pay progression. We are committed to growing our workforce talent and giving everyone the chance to reach their professional and personal goals.  Furthermore, this sustained skill development will help our company become more productive and meet our goals of providing delicious and safe food to the marketplace, while increasing the sustainable productivity increases needed to maintain business viability,” said MJ Dillenburg, HR Manager of Michael Foods. 

About Northern Star (Division of Michael Foods)
Founded in 1952, Northern Star® (division of Michael Foods) is a leading producer of refrigerated potato products. For more than 25 years Northern Star has specialized in producing a variety of refrigerated, but never frozen, potato products for both the foodservice, retail and consumer markets. Northern Star, which operates in Minnesota out of a single 230,000 square foot potato processing facility in Chaska, Minnesota, was the first company to introduce nationally branded refrigerated potato products in the late 1980s to the United States foodservice and retail markets. Northern Star is believed to be the largest processor and distributor of fresh refrigerated potato products in the U.S., selling the Simply Potatoes under the Crystal Farms family of foods label.  In 1987, Northern Star joined the Michael Foods Family which in-turn was recently acquired by Post foods.

About South Central College and the Center for Business and Industry    
South Central College (SCC) is a comprehensive community and technical college that is part of the Minnesota State system, with campuses in Faribault and North Mankato. SCC offers education in the areas of liberal arts and sciences, technical programs and workforce development. Workforce development is the focus of SCC’s Center for Business and Industry (CBI), which provides customized training and continuing education for more than 10,000 students each year. The CBI was established to address the importance of giving employers and workers an opportunity to upgrade their technical and professional skills on a continuing basis. The CBI also assists businesses in identifying specific skill-based training needs and provides them with training options for meeting those needs. SCC is an Affirmative Action Equal Opportunity Employer/Educator. For more information, visit

About Minnesota Job Skills Partnership and DEED
The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership works with businesses and educational institutions

to train or retrain workers, expand work opportunities and keep high-quality jobs in the state.

The program has awarded $47 million since 2011 to train 54,359 workers and has

leveraged $91.6 million in private funding. DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit us at Follow us on Twitter at