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Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry


"The flexibility of the PIPELINE Dual-Training Grant provided an opportunity that worked very well for us since we could adjust the training to our specifications. We appreciate the ability to have an adaptable learning structure that accommodates our company and the employee in training."

— Val Bentdahl, human resources manager, Jones Metal.

Jones Metal

Jones MetalSince May of 2016, Jones Metal has participated in the PIPELINE Program with its dual-training program in mechatronics. They have gone through the steps of finding an educational institution that can provide related instruction while also structuring an on-the-job training plan that will help the participating employee meet occupation and technical competencies. The implementation of this program has been a smooth transition for the employee receiving the training, according to Valerie Bentdahl, Human Resources Manager at Jones Metal.

The employee at Jones Metal has been able to keep-up with a split shift schedule where they spend part of their time shadowing their mentor during work hours for the on-the-job portion of their training. The other half of their day they are doing their regular job at the company. This is all while taking courses at South Central College as they receive credentials for a degree in mechatronics.

Sharing ideas through Industry Councils

Jones logoPart of the work that has helped establish the standards of a mechatronic occupation within Minnesota’s workforce come from a collaboration of employers at Industry Council meetings hosted by PIPELINE. At these meetings we had leaders from the advanced manufacturing Industry come together and determine what guidelines they would like to have as part of the education and training those employees from identified occupations, which included mechatronics, would receive.

As impressive as it is for the student to keep up with such a busy schedule, it is even more impressive that Jones Metal has already been looking at how else to get more out of the dual-training program. Their main objectives are focused on expanding the numbers of employees who are a part of the program and thus further improving their workforce as new employees are hired. The flexibility of the PIPELINE Dual-Training Grant was something that Valerie said they greatly appreciated with this program which allows for an adaptable learning structure that best accommodates the employer and employee. The future looks bright as time continues while the company and employee benefit.

Questions or comments about the Minnesota PIPELINE Program?

Contact Annie Welch, PIPELINE Program manager, at (651) 284-5353 or Annie.Welch@state.mn.us.

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