At the beginning of April, 16 Minnesota State College Southeast students got the great news that they are being awarded $2,500 scholarships through the Workforce Development Scholarship program. The scholarships are designed to help them launch a career in a high-demand occupation in Minnesota.
The Workforce Development Scholarships were initially funded by the 2017 Minnesota Legislature. Representative Barb Haley of Red Wing (District 21A) was instrumental in making the scholarships possible.
“I am pleased to have authored the bill to create the Workforce Development Scholarships that the legislature funded last session. These opportunities are critical to addressing our workforce shortages by providing more students a pathway into high demand fields,” said Representative Haley.
The 16 students will major in CNC machine tool, cyber and information security, medical laboratory technician, network administration and technology, nursing, software development and support, and welding technology.
The Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association contributed an additional $2,000 toward workforce scholarships. Four students — all majoring in welding technology — were awarded an additional $500 scholarship.
This fall, welding technology instructor Casey Mann will be welcoming seven new students who have been awarded scholarships.
“The Workforce Development Scholarships are a good way to get students to come to college and help them pay their way once they’re here,” Mann said. “When they enter the workforce, they’ll be highly-skilled and highly-trained, plus as college grads, they will have additional math and English skills. They will be well-positioned to become valuable employees.”
Alissa Heide will start in the welding technology program this fall. “I was in ag mechanics in FFA, and welding was one of the categories we had to do,” she said. “I would come in before school every day and practice welding. I really liked it, and it felt like I was naturally good at it.”
To save money, Heide will commute 45 miles from home and work part-time during college. She noted, “The Workforce Development Scholarship will really help with keeping the cost of college down.”
Workforce Development Scholarship Awards will be made to:
• Paige Fahnel, Wabasha, nursing
• Matthew Johnson*, Winona, welding technology
• Brendan Marcotte, Winona, network administration and technology
• Reginia Meyer, Houston, nursing
• Angel Najera, Winona, software development and support
• Martin Sanchez, Winona, welding technology
• Rainy Yangtz, Winona, CNC machine tool
*Awarded additional $500 scholarship from the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association.
“We are all concerned about the current workforce crisis. The Workforce Development Scholarships are a way of encouraging prospective students to prepare for careers in technical fields. Graduates will find amazing opportunities await them in these high skill, high demand areas,” said MSC Southeast Interim President Larry Lundblad. “The college is in the process of identifying employers who might provide matching funds for additional scholarships.”
The Workforce Development Scholarships are available to students who will be entering any Minnesota State two-year college to earn an associate degree, diploma, or certificate in high-demand sectors of Minnesota’s economy. Programs that qualify for the scholarships are in advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services, and information technology. For more information, visit http://www.southeastmn.edu/payingforcollege/paying.aspx?id=9676.
About Minnesota State College Southeast
Minnesota State College Southeast is a two-year technical and community college that prepares students for a lifetime of learning by providing education for employment, skill enhancement, retraining, and transfer, to meet the needs of students and the community. The Winona campus opened in 1949, merging with the Red Wing campus in 1992 and updating its name to Minnesota State College Southeast in 2016 with the change of mission to offer both technical training and the associate of arts degree. Minnesota State College Southeast is a member of Minnesota State. For more information, visit http://www.southeastmn.edu/.