The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has awarded 42 grants statewide totaling $10,940,160 under the Minnesota Pathways to Prosperity program. Some of the programs will serve Minnesotans with disabilities.
DEED received nearly $21 million dollars in funding requests and $10,940,160 was available for Pathways to Prosperity grant awards in the 2020-21 funding cycle.
Pathways to Prosperity plays an essential role in reducing economic disparities across the state. These competitive grants fund programs and services that provide workforce development and training opportunities to adults in Minnesota experiencing barriers to employment. Programs by grantees help job seekers develop increased career awareness, participate in education training and skills-training programs, obtain certificates, industry recognized credentials and post-secondary credits, and connect to employment in high growth, high demand industries with long-term opportunities.
In addition, each program includes wraparound services – such as access to childcare, transportation, or food assistance – that help Minnesotans in finding and keeping jobs.
As part of the competitive grant improvement process rolled out earlier this year, the teams of reviewers, who represented both DEED and community organizations, read and scored every single proposal. Another change was to allocate more funding across the state; include new service providers, who target their services to individuals with multiple barriers to employment; and as part of an equity goal, ensure services are available to serve communities of color and new immigrants. Deputy Commissioner Hamse Warfa outlined the changes made.
One program receiving a grant is Community Action Center of Northfield, Inc. A $63,000 grant for health care training will serve persons of color and those with disabilities.
Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota received $305,847. Training in business services will be provided to communities of color; those who speak English as a second language and English language learners; low-income individuals; and persons with disabilities.
Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis, Golden Valley received $350,000. Training in information technology will be given to communities of color, women, and individuals with disabilities.
(Source: Minnesota DEED)