October 2018
Our mission is to develop and advance the workforce of Southeast Minnesota.
October is National Manufacturing Month, a time to put a spotlight on the positive impact of manufacturing companies and skilled workers across America. This monthly observance stems from National Manufacturing Day, a day traditionally recognized on the first Friday in October to support and inspire future generations to seek careers in the Manufacturing Sector.
Meet Mandi Morrissey
Tru-Vue - Faribault
Human Resources Manager
SE MN Workforce Development Board (WDB) Member since 2018
Current WDB 2nd Vice President

We live in an ever-changing environment; how has Tru-Vue been aware and responsive so that they can survive, sustain, and grow? 

We are diligent about trying to stay current and competitive in wage, benefits, and opportunity. We believe in educating our team. Whether that means 100% tuition reimbursement, onsite or offsite specific education, basic literacy education, or culture education, it is all very important in our ever changing environment. It is how we all keep our skills and knowledge relevant. Most importantly though, we listen to the community. We poll the community directly through social media, we collaborate several community leaders, and we have strong partnerships within the community. 

Spotlight on the Mower County Office
Workforce Development, Inc. (WDI)
Austin, Minnesota
Located in Southern Minnesota, Mower County is home to the WDI Austin Office . The office resides in the Minnesota WorkForce Center at Riverland Community College. Led by Area Manager, Beth Christensen, the Austin Staff are dedicated to developing and advancing the workforce to meet the current and future needs of communities throughout Mower County. So far this year, they have served 744 people in formal programming! Not including walk-in customers.

In the News:
Hard Work Pays Off:
Youth Participants Attend
Taylor Swift Concert

On August 31st, Youth Career Planner, Alison Sabinish, surprised a group of youth girls with tickets to the Taylor Swift concert at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. "We picked up our tickets... and were given tickets for the pit! The girls were so ecstatic about how close we were to the stage and had an absolute blast! Most of them had never been to a concert before. It was a pretty cool experience to share with the youth," Alison explained.

Alison explained that Workforce Development, Inc. (WDI) was given free tickets to different events for youth. The youth participants who were selected were working hard with Alison and doing well at work experiences.
Alison Sabinish, WDI Youth Career Planner
Freeborn and Mower Counties
Success Story: C. A.
Overcoming Barriers to Employment

The Minnesota Correctional Facility-Red Wing (MCF-RW) is part of a Tri-City Bridges initiative (Faribault and Northfield locations make up the rest of the initiative), with the target focus being incarcerated juvenile males. The program, developed in Red Wing, is a partnership with Minnesota State College Southeast and Workforce Development, Inc. It focuses on delivering a Manufacturing 101 class, Soft Skills class, and an OSHA 10 certificate class several times a year. 

 C.A. completed the Manufacturing 101/ OSHA 10 class in July of 2017. He continued at MCF-RW, completing his treatment work and working as a groundskeeper with staff until he was released.  He was self-motivated and appreciated by his supervisor, as a person who could complete tasks without much supervision. C.A. was released from the facility mid-October 2017, and one of his conditions of probation was to be gainfully employed. C.A. applied for several jobs and was immediately hired by Technical Die-Casting, Inc. in Stockholm, MN. He was paid $15 dollars an hour to start. He said that it was very helpful to be able to say in his interview, that he had taken a Manufacturing Class and that he had an OSHA 10 certificate. C.A. is currently employed at Peerless Chain in Winona, MN. He states that he loves this position!

Kim Buysse, Bridge Mentor
Workforce Development, Inc.
Pathways to Prosperity (P2P)
Healthcare and Manufacturing

In Faribault, our Pathways to Prosperity collaboration is led by South Central College (SCC). They are joined by core partners, Faribault Public Schools/Community Education, Workforce Development, Inc. (WDI), and Somali Community Resettlement. We have recently named the grant program, Choose Your Path. This is a two-year grant, in which time we are to enroll no less than 50 students.  Adult students ages 18 and up are able to choose either a Healthcare or Manufacturing Career Pathway. Students will receive wrap around services. There is an Adult Learning Advisor to assist students, and her name is Samantha Campa. WDI will enroll, track, and provide supportive services.   

Our program has an Onramp class, allowing students who after academic testing have tested at a sixth grade level or below. Onramp students will participate in classes at the Faribault Education Center (FEC). There, Bridge Instructors will work with students on their English and Math, in additional to Digital and Financial Literacy. WDI staff will teach work readiness classes.

The Program offers a Bridge class for students who have tested at a seventh grade level or above. The Bridge class will be taught at South Central College. The Bridge Instructors from the FEC will join SCC staff in teaching students: College Readiness, Navigating D2L, FAFSA, and study skills; all with the goal of preparing students for post-secondary courses. 

The Bridge to Integrated classes start when students are ready for certificates and post-secondary training. These classes are taught on the SCC Faribault Campus. By this time, students have selected their pathway and can decide from entry level healthcare classes such as: First Aid and CPR, Certified Nursing Assistant, and Medical Terminology. In manufacturing pathways, students will gain exposure through job shadowing, workplace tours, volunteering, and a CMAE Safety Course (teaching student’s safety awareness course competencies). We are all hopeful that the emphasis on leveraging our strengths and working together will impact the students in a positive way.
For more information, contact Sonji Davis
October Feature:
Manufacturing Sector Pathways Committee

The Workforce Development, Inc. (WDI) Manufacturing Sector Pathways Committee, made up of employers, educators, organizations, WDI staff and Workforce Development Board (WDB) members, seeks to address workforce concerns by identifying best practices and potential solutions. This is an exciting time for the Manufacturing Sector Committee, as we have begun strategic planning for outlining our mission and goals for the coming year. We plan to leverage our valued community partnerships to create a network and trusted resource promoting manufacturing through career pathways and best workforce practices. The Manufacturing Sector Committee's hope and vision moving forward is that SE MN Manufacturers are places people want to work. Also, that our SE MN job seekers are connected to education involving reskilling, upskilling, and leadership training.  

For further information or to join the Manufacturing Sector Pathways Committee, contact Sonji Davis .
Southern Minnesota Professional Development Day
October 3, 2018
Mankato, Minnesota
“One in four people in the U.S. have a criminal record. Four in four have a criminal history.” On Wednesday, October 3 rd , Workforce Development staff from around Southern Minnesota gathered in Mankato for a day of professional development. The keynote speaker, Emily Baxter of “We Are All Criminals,” engaged the participants with statistics, stories, and personal accounts from individuals who have committed criminal behaviors, but because of status, demographics, and other variables, have not had to deal with the ramifications of their actions. Baxter concluded her presentation with a list of commonly committed behaviors that left the audience thinking about their own actions and how they are each one of the four in four.

Michael Hreha from the Minnesota Department of Corrections then spoke to the participants about optional programming available in Minnesota Prisons for detainees who are soon to be rejoining general society and how the program supports them in the world of work.

After lunch, participants were joined by five local employers who provided a panel discussion on current hiring trends, workforce shortages, and challenges and successes of employers in our region. Jim Wendorff of Viracon in Owatonna, Steve Vanek and Adam Schumann of Alamco in Albert Lea, Jennifer Pfeffer of Ecument in Southeast Minnesota, and Jennifer Reed Huettl of Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato provided great insight for all participants.

The day wrapped up with participants selecting three of 17 round-table discussions, which ranged in topics from program specifics to sector conversations. Held every two years, the Mankato Professional Development Day is something that is greatly enjoyed and looked forward to!
Save the Date

October 16: Manufacturing Job Fair 11am-1pm held at the Heintz Center in Rochester
October 22: Construct Tomorrow held at the Century High School in Rochester See Flyer

November 1: Rochester Regional Job Fair held at the Rochester Community and Technical College, Sports Center in Rochester

November 1: Workforce Development Board and Taskforce Meetings

November 3: Austin Community Connection Resource Fair held at the Austin High School in Austin See Flyer

November 3: Assistive Technology Expo 2018: Innovations for Independence 10am-3pm, held at the Heintz Center Commons in Rochester See Flyer

November 11: Veteran's Day

November 12: Veteran's Day Holiday observed at Workforce Development, Inc. - Offices Closed

November 13: Equity Logic Series - Inclusivity: Growing and Retaining a Global Workforce; Immigration Law 8am-10am, held at Woodlake Meeting Center in Rochester
SE Minnesota Employment Trends

Learn More about
in the Upcoming November 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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