August 2018
Our mission is to develop and advance the workforce of Southeast Minnesota.
Meet Rhonda Toquam
Area Farmer and Dodge County Commissioner
Dodge County, Minnesota
SE MN Joint Powers Board Member since 2017
What is Agriculture? Is it simply growing crops and raising animals?
Most people think of agriculture as growing crops, milking cows, feeding livestock, driving tractors, trucks, and other machinery. It does include all of those things and so much more. Agriculture plays a much larger part than what I have just mentioned. Products produced on farms not only provide food for human consumption and animals. Co-products from agriculture is used in our gas/fuel, (ethanol, bio diesel) for our cars, make up, insulin, clothing; just to name a few. Agriculture is everywhere!

Spotlight on the Fillmore County Office
Workforce Development, Inc. (WDI)
Preston, Minnesota
The Workforce Development Inc. (WDI) Preston office is located in picturesque Fillmore County. With rolling hills and lazy rivers, Fillmore County provides the best of small town living. What it lacks in big city resources, it makes up for in offering highly individualized and intensive one-on-one services. Customer service is the top priority at the WDI Preston office, with an emphasis on building a strong rapport with customers and other community agencies. 
The Preston office is a member of the Fillmore County Family Services Collaborative, Homeless Prevention Taskforce, and local Community Transition Interagency Committee. Strong partnerships are maintained with Semcac, Hiawatha Valley Mental Health, Fillmore Community Advocates, and many others; in order to effectively collaborate and to provide the most comprehensive services to customers possible. 
It is not uncommon for individuals to get in touch with Preston staff long after they have achieved their career goals and ceased services with the Preston office. Customers often come back to seek additional assistance, obtain referrals, to consult, or simply to say hello. The WDI Preston office offers a variety of employment and training services that are available to all members of the community. Stop in anytime to speak with Sue Hyke – Intake Specialist, Tami Sheff – Career Planner, or Wanda Jensen – Area Manager.  We hope to see you soon!
Tami Sheff ,
Career Planner
WDI Preston Office
100 South Main Street
Preston, MN 55965
(507) 765.2476
Sue Hyke ,
Intake Specialist
August Feature:
GAR-LIN Dairy Farm -
A Rich History in the Agriculture Sector

GAR-LIN Dairy Farm of Eyota is a multi-generational dairy farm owned by Gary and Linda Allen and their children, Dean Allen and Dana Allen-Tully . The farm started in 1971 with 40 cows. It now consists of over 1,850 cows, with 1,740 calves and heifers. The farm also consists of 4,470 acres of corn, alfalfa, sweet peas and corn, soybeans, and winter rye.

Dana Allen-Tully manages the farm's dairy operation and dairy employees. GAR-LIN is the second largest employer in the Eyota area, with 45 full-time and 8 part-time employee s, not including the number of people involved in collaborations and community business partners.

Success Story: Daniel
Working Together... Making a Change

Daniel came to us in March 2016 for help with the Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Program at Riverland. He had been out of work for over a year due to helping an ill family member. He was very dissatisfied with his first career and looking for a change. He very successfully completed the trucking program and has been working full time in his career field since his graduation in August 2016. Daniel expressed several times over the course of our work together “what a blessing” the funding was, the positive impact it had in his life, and his love for his new career.
Clara Johnson, LSW
Mower County Career Planner
Minnesota Dislocated Worker (DW) Program

Layoffs are always challenging for workers and employers. The Dislocated Worker (DW) Program is a higher tier of services within our offices, designed to help workers get back to work as quickly as possible and to overcome barriers to unemployment. Our supportive Workforce Development, Inc. (WDI) Career Planners are available to connect workers to training opportunities, help them develop career goals, and assist them in preparing a personal plan for success. Dislocated workers have access to short and longer-term funding to upgrade and enhance current marketable skills.

How does one become eligible? Workers who are unemployed or about to become unemployed may be eligible for services from the DW Program. FREE services are available for workers who lose a job through no fault of their own. To qualify for services, a worker must be eligible for Unemployment Insurance; must provide an employer lay-off/termination letter or notice; or must be involved with the Federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. The TAA Program is a Federal program available to workers who lose their jobs, hours, or income as a result of increased foreign trade activity.
The Workforce Development Board of Southeast Minnesota
New Board Officers 2018-2020
On August 2, 2018, the Workforce Development Board (WDB) voted to approve new Board Officers. Each member will serve a two-year term.

The new slate of WDB Officers for 2018-2019 consists of:
  • President: Cheryl Gustason, Field Crest Care Center, Hayfield (Dodge County)
  • 1st Vice President: Laura Link, The Bergquist Company, a Henkel Company, Cannon Falls (Goodhue County)
  • 2nd Vice President: Mandi Morrissey, Tru Vue, Faribault (Rice County)
  • Secretary: Rob Van Craenenbroeck, Gundersen-Harmony Care Center, Harmony (Fillmore County)
  • Treasurer: Jeff Custer, Xcel Energy, Inc., Red Wing (Goodhue County)
August Feature:
Emerging Technology & Economic Development Sector

As we organize our Workforce Development Board (WDB) work around industrial sectors and supply side groupings, we must be careful to be cognizant of critical economic factors that are essential to the success of all of our efforts. This Committee, then, takes a look at the need for such things as affordable workforce housing, and a regional transportation plan. It can look at things like the need to improve our worker's compensation system and the rehabilitation process for those injured. All of this with an eye toward, "How can Workforce Development, Inc. (WDI) align its current services, and help attract additional resources to better meet the need?" And finally, we need to be aware of new and emerging technical markets that may frame all of our future. Social media, artificial intelligence, robotics, automation, and the bio-science field are all examples of disrupting forces that we need to better understand, in order to ensure that our workforce is truly prepared for the future.
Randy Johnson , Executive Director
Workforce Development, Inc.
WDI Recent Events
July 24: WDI Career Planner WIOA Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs Training

August 2: SE MN Workforce Development Strategic Planning Summit
MACTA Honors Jinny Rietmann
The Minnesota Association for Career and Technical Administrators (MACTA) honored Jinny Rietmann with the Outstanding Partner Award this past spring for her leadership and skill in collaborating with multiple stakeholders to create infrastructure that supports Career and Technical Education (CTE) programming in Southeast Minnesota. This award is given to a stakeholder who has promoted high-quality and innovative CTE programming at either the secondary or post-secondary level. Congratulations, Jinny!
Jinny Rietmann ,
WDI Regional Youth Programs Coordinator and Area Manager
(Photo above)
SE MN Regional Workforce Development Strategic Planning Summit
August 2, 2018
Save the Date

September 3: WDI offices CLOSED for Labor Day
September 6: Workforce Development Board and Taskforce Meetings

September 26: Retail-Customer Service Job Fair 10am-12pm held at the Heintz Center in Rochester
September 27: Northfield Job Fair 3-6pm held at the Northfield Ballroom

October 3: Health Care Job Fair 10am-12pm held at the Heintz Center in Rochester
October 16: Manufacturing Job Fair 11am-1pm held at the Heintz Center in Rochester
November 1: Rochester Regional Job Fair held at the Rochester Community and Technical College, Sports Center
Current Job Openings at WDI
Full-time Public Sector/Customer Service Careers Navigator - Olmsted County (Rochester) Office
SE Minnesota Employment Trends

Learn More about the
Corrections and Public Services Sector
in the Upcoming September 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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