Announced by the Office of Governor Tim Walz, Lakeville Area Schools is one of 17 school districts in Minnesota that will receive a Youth Skills Training (YST) grant of $90,000 to develop and implement paid-learning opportunities for Lakeville Area students 16 years of age and older.
“Youth Skills Training grants provide students with hands-on workforce training in high-demand, high-growth fields,” said Governor Tim Walz. “Employers across the state are facing workforce shortages, and these innovative partnerships connect schools with local businesses to create career pathways for younger Minnesotans.”
According to the department’s news release, the grants are part of a Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (YST@DLI) program, which was signed into law in 2017 with bipartisan support, to create and provide employment training for student learners ages 16 and older in high-growth, high-demand occupations.
“Here in Lakeville, the school district and the Lakeville Area Chamber’s Lakeville Works program are partnering to develop authentic experiences for Lakeville Area high school students in the areas of advanced manufacturing and automotive,” said Lakeville Area Schools Career Pathways Coordinator Cindy Nolan. “The Youth Skills Training Grant will be instrumental in the fruition of many additional projects for this partnership to support our students.
Nolan said the high schools currently offer courses in manufacturing, engineering, and technology. “In these courses, students develop their technical skills, understanding of safety, and professionalism. With the help of this grant, students will have the opportunity to complete paid work experiences and earn certifications in manufacturing and automotive industries.”
Lakeville Area Chamber President Krista Jech explained Lakeville Works, a subdivision of the local chamber of commerce, is a consortium of twelve businesses in the engineering, manufacturing, transportation, construction and technology career fields. The consortium’s vision is to build a pipeline of skilled workers by cultivating collaboration among key partners and addressing the industry’s most fundamental training and skill development needs.
“The multi-year partnership between the school district, chamber and partner businesses has already resulted in over $20,000 in donated equipment to Lakeville North and Lakeville South high school manufacturing and automotive programs and over $5,000 in student scholarships,” said Jech. “The YST grant will help Lakeville Works vastly expand upon how we are already working to train our students for the future and increase skilled workers here in Lakeville.”