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April 16, 2024

Seventeen partnerships across Minnesota will receive funding to develop and expand programs to offer meaningful career exposure and paid work experience for students 16 years of age and older.

The grants are part of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s (DLI) Youth Skills Training (YST) program that 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.

“These Youth Skills Training partnership grants will help high school students throughout Minnesota find pathways to high-growth, high-demand occupations and allow them to participate in safe, meaningful work experiences in their community,” said Nicole Blissenbach, DLI commissioner. “Thank you to everyone who has supported this program.”

YST grants will be awarded to the following 17 partnerships, which will receive and split $1.5 million in funding to be used for programs operating from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2026. The partnerships will offer safe, meaningful work experience in advanced manufacturing, agriculture, automotive, health care and information technology.

  • Albert Lea Area Schools

  • Bemidji Career Academies

  • Cambridge-Isanti Public School District 

  • Detroit Lakes Public Schools

  • Fergus Falls High School

  • Great River School (St. Paul)

  • Hennepin West Consortium

  • Hermantown Community Schools

  • Itasca Area Schools Collaborative 

  • Minneapolis Public Schools – Camden High

  • Minneapolis Public Schools – Wellstone International High School

  • Moorhead Public Schools

  • New Prague Area Schools

  • Parkers Prairie School District

  • Perham Schools

  • ROCORI School District 

  • Staples-Motley School District

Grants can be used to create programs, recruit students and employers, provide training, transport students and pay for industry-related student certifications. An eighth round of grant applications will open in winter 2024.

For more information about Youth Skills Training contact Rich Wessels, program manager, at 651-284-5184 or; Jo Daggett, program consultant, at 651-284-5354 or; or Faye Blough, program specialist, at 651-284-5341 or; Learn more online at

News media contact:  James Honerman, DLI, at 651-284-5313 or