April 2018
Our mission is to develop and advance the workforce of Southeast Minnesota.
Meet Jason Sundberg
Market President, United Prarie Bank-Owatonna
SE MN Workforce Development Board Member 2016-2018

Jason recently resigned from his position at United Prairie Bank and his seat on the SE MN Workforce Development Board (WDB) to relocate and return to his hometown in South Dakota. Thank you, Jason. Your contributions to the WDB are appreciated!
What or who influenced you to decide on a career in the banking sector?
My step-father and grandfather both had careers rooted in the banking industry and had a big influence on my career choice. My step-father held various positions on the mortgage side of the bank and retired as the Regional Mortgage Manager for a large bank on the West Coast. My grandfather’s career was focused in the bookkeeping and accounting functions within the banks he was employed. I began my banking career as a Teller and have evolved in my roles over the past 22 years to include Teller, Personal Banker, Branch Manager, Senior Vice President, and now Market President.
Spotlight on the Houston County Office
Workforce Development, Inc. (WDI)
Caledonia, Minnesota
Tucked away in the southeast corner of Minnesota is the WDI Houston County Office. Dee Slinde and Anita Hahn , along with their Area Manager, Wanda Jensen , are dedicated to developing and advancing the workforce to meet the current and future needs of communities throughout Houston County.


“As a smaller office, we handle all types of clients and programs. I’m quickly finding out that while I hope to be an expert at all of them in the future. Until then, we have an amazing network of resources that I can call on to find out how to deal with the things I don’t know. We may be the ‘featured office’ this time, but we couldn’t do what we do without the rest of the amazing and experienced staff at our other locations!”
–Dee Slinde
Anita Hahn
 Intake Specialist
Dee Slinde
Career Planner &
Business Service Rep
In the News:
Rotary Clubs of Rochester Award $2,500 Grant to WDI
WDI was recently awarded a Rotary Community Grant of $2,500 from The Rotary Clubs of Rochester. This grant will be used to support staffing and outreach for the Hire Up summer work experience programming for WDI's youth customers. See press release
SE MN Workforce Development Board: Equity Taskforces
Remaining on the cutting edge of the challenges and opportunities that exist in today’s workforce is essential to meeting the varying needs of our multiple customers and constituents. Currently, Workforce Development Board members, WDI staff, county commissioners, and community and business partners operate four diverse taskforces.
April Feature:
 The Emerging Workforce (Youth) Taskforce
The mission of the Emerging Workforce (Youth) Taskforce is to develop and advance the workforce of Southeast Minnesota through empowering young adults and offering opportunities to gain life and work skills, preparing them for a career of their choice. We believe that every youth has the potential for success!
Youthprise "Tri-City Bridges to the Future"
Providing Career Pathways Approaches for Opportunity Youth
“Bridges to the Future” is a new collaborative in Faribault, Northfield, and Red Wing, including the MN Correctional Facility (MCF)-Red Wing. WDI, in partnership with Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI), was awarded a Youthprise grant for three years that provides Career Pathways programming. This tri-city initiative offers career pathways approaches for youth ages 14-24 who are in foster care, involved in the juvenile justice system, homeless, or are disconnected from school and work. The primary focus, through partnerships with area higher education institutions and post-secondary training, is high school completion with dual enrollment options in career clusters that have clear pathways to higher degrees, including construction, manufacturing, and healthcare. To date, we have served over 130 youth in this program. We have also completed three courses in manufacturing basics at MCF – Red Wing; providing college credit for completion of the course.

Click on Video Link Below To Learn More:
Fast Facts From the Field
In 2017, there were 411 youth served in individual intensive services and 1,463 youth served in group services
WDI operates 13 funding streams dedicated to youth programming
72 youth participated in paid work experience during 2017
Making a Positive Impact Despite Barriers

"When A.G. first met with his (Career) Planner on September 13th, he shared some of his barriers to previously succeeding within his educational and employment goals. He was 17 years old; his mother had left him and his sister two years prior to care for themselves; and he had dropped out of high school that same year at the age of 15. He has struggled with chemical dependency and has attended treatment and is working towards staying sober."
-Betsy Andrews, Youth & Young Adult Career Planner
WDI Rochester/Olmsted County Office

Pictured: Steve Hill, Zaid Al Showbacki, Betsy Andrews, and David LeGarde
(Career Planners, WDI Rochester/Olmsted County Office)
Save the Date

April 25:   MaxAbility Employment Taskforce: Southern MN Disability Employment Network - REVERSE JOB FAIR. 8:30-10:30am. Wood Lake Meeting Center, Rochester.
Register Today! See Reverse Job Fair flyer

April 26:  Best Places to Work Banquet- Rochester International Event Center.

May 1-2:  Re-entry Employment Specialist Training, Rochester.

May 3:   Workforce Development Board and Sector Committee Meetings, WDI, Rochester.

May 7:   WDI Laborers Training Program begins. Click here for more info
Recent WDI Youth Events
March 20: Red Wing Youth Outreach’s Independent Living Skills Group, WDI Goodhue County Office, Red Wing.

April 4: Annual Student Job Fair, Austin High School. Read newspaper article
Learn More about the Salute Southern MN: Veterans Network Taskforce
in the Upcoming May Issue!
Workforce Development, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Program Provider and a proud partner of the American Job Center Network.
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