Minnesotans with multiple barriers to employment can find help

Minnesotans with multiple barriers to employment can find help

Many people with disabilities seek meaningful employment, yet run into obstacles. Now several service providers around the state, including some with a disability focus, have additional resources to help those wanting to find new careers. 

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has announced $13.5 million in Pathways to Prosperity (P2P) grantee funds. The money will be released through three programs focusing on providing clear career pathways to Minnesotans who face systemic barriers to employment.  

The programs are On-Ramp to Career Pathways, Bridge to Career Pathways, and a P2P Individualized Training Program. They were created in response to needs identified by communities across Minnesota. In response to those needs, and are seen as a more holistic approach on how to structure the P2P program.  

Each program focuses on a participant’s career pathway and allows for providers to deliver clear paths to a career, no matter which level of educational attainment the participant currently holds. The three programs emphasize educational attainment, coupled with navigation services and barrier removal, to increase mobility, employability and skills leading to higher wages. 

On-Ramp to Career Pathways will reach Minnesotans interested in earning a certificate and/or improving their employment skills. Grant recipients must partner with an active Adult Basic Education provider to ensure certified training curriculum will provide the measurable skills for people to gain relevant to support the Local Workforce Development Area (LWDA) plan. 

Career Pathways Bridge will reach Minnesotans seeking to improve skills or obtain new skills to earn an industry recognized credential in line with the LWDA plan. Grant recipients must partner with an active employer and an Adult Basic Education provider or have a strong connection with one. The level of employer participation will determine the prioritization of funding. 

Pathways to Prosperity Individualized Training Program (P2P ITP) will reach Minnesotans seeking training in four targeted specific industry sectors: Healthcare, Information Technology, Skilled Trades, and Advanced Manufacturing (or another high growth, in-demand sector earning a median wage of $15 per hour and is specific to the local service area). Grant recipients must partner with at least one post-secondary institution or union apprenticeship program as well as an active employer to support the industry-specific trainings for the participants.  

“Pathways to Prosperity is such an important grant program for our state, and I’m thrilled with the extraordinary collection of organizations receiving awards today,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “It’s the job of government to invest in people who face the biggest barriers to employment. These dollars are critical to expanding opportunity for Minnesotans and growing our economy.”  

“With all our partners, we are investing in Minnesota workers, to meet their needs, through expanded and innovative programming and supportive services,” said DEED Deputy Commissioner Hamse Warfa. “With the state’s investment in these new programs, we can build an inclusive recovery that works for all Minnesotans.”   

(Warfa left DEED for a post with the Biden administration after the grantees were announced.) 

Grantees are listed by program.  

On Ramp to Career Pathways

American Indian OIC  

Minnesota Valley Action Council  

Lutheran Social Services  

Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services, Inc.  

St. Paul Public Schools  

Karen Organization of Minnesota   

City of Duluth  

CLUES  

Washington County Community Services  

Workforce Development, Inc.  

East Side Neighborhood Services  

Pathways to Prosperity: Bridge to Career Pathways Grantees: 

American Indian OIC  

Southwest Minnesota PIC  

Karen Organization of Minnesota  

International Institute of Minnesota  

Northfield Health Community Initiative  

City of Minneapolis  

Jewish Family and Community Services  

Minnesota Computers for Schools  

Lutheran Social Services  

Project for Pride in Living  

City of Duluth  

CAPI USA  

Hiawatha Valley Adult Basic Education  

St. Paul Public Schools  

White Earth Tribal and Community College  

YWCA Minneapolis  

Roseville Adult Learning Center  

Anoka County Job Training Center   

Goodwill Easter Seals of Minnesota  

EMERGE Community Development  

HIRED  

Workforce Development, Inc.  

YWCA St. Paul  

East Side Neighborhood Services  

Avivo  

Career Solutions  

Twin Cities R!SE  

Pathways to Prosperity: Individualized Training Pathways Grantees  

City of Duluth  

Project for Pride in Living  

White Earth Tribal and Community College  

Minnesota Valley Action Council  

Rural Minnesota CEP, Inc.  

Hiawatha Valley Adult Education  

DEED will work with all of its partners to invest in Minnesota workers, meet their needs, and provide innovative programming and supportive services. Learn more about the Pathways to Prosperity Programs at  

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 its services, visit the DEED website, the JoinUsMn.com website, or follow DEED on Twitter.