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MN’s Dual Training Pipeline Addresses Workforce Needs With Employment-Based Education

At Greater Fergus Falls, we believe a skilled workforce is a crucial component of a thriving community. Unfortunately, communities throughout Minnesota are facing a workforce shortage as baby boomers enter the end stages of the working years.

It’s more important than ever that employers provide the existing and incoming labor force with the training they need to excel. On that note, we wanted to share the details of an exciting opportunity for employers to support employee development: The Minnesota Dual Training Pipeline.

What is the Minnesota Dual Training Pipeline?

The Minnesota Dual Training Pipeline was designed to help address workforce needs now and in the future with an “earn-as-you-learn” approach to employee development.

According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (MN DLI), the program “support[s] employers in creating or enhancing a competency-based dual-training approach where workers receive a combination of related instruction strategically paired with on-the-job training.”

Dual training grants are awarded through the Minnesota Office of Higher Education for eligible occupations in four high-growth industries:

  • Advanced Manufacturing

  • Agriculture

  • Health Care Services

  • Information Technology (IT)

Qualified businesses are awarded a grant of up to $150,000 (or $6,000 per student) each year to offer workers employment-based education and develop critical skills. The grant can be used to cover educational expenses related to employee instruction, including industry-recognized degrees, certifications, and credentials.

Benefits of the Minnesota Dual Training Pipeline

The Dual-Training Pipeline offers a mutually beneficial solution for employers and their staff to develop industry-specific skills and knowledge.

In addition to having an active role in your employees’ education, participation in the Pipeline program can set your business apart from competitors in the hiring market. Incentivizing new and existing workers with classroom and hands-on training makes it easier to attract and retain employees. It also helps to reduce turnover. Investing in your employees makes them feel empowered, valued, and more committed to a long-term professional relationship.

The program’s employment-based education approach is a win for employees, as well. Student-employees can get the training, education, and experience they need to succeed in a high-growth industry — without the hefty price tag. It also allows them to apply what they learn in the classroom to real, on-the-job situations.

Apply for a 2021 Minnesota Dual Training Pipeline Grant

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education accepts new grant applications for the Pipeline program each spring, with approximately $2 million available in grant funds.

The 2021 dual training grant round is now open and accepting applications through April 16, 2021.

Greater Fergus Falls encourages area businesses to use this opportunity to support employment-based education, enhance workforce skills, and expand dual-training in Minnesota.

Navigating the grant application process for the Minnesota Dual Training Pipeline can be difficult. Greater Fergus Falls is pleased to offer employers assistance in applying for a dual training grant. With connections across Minnesota, we have built relationships with numerous providers throughout the state.

Our team can help you satisfy the application process requirements, including developing your dual training program for the upcoming year. We can also connect you with a qualified related instruction training provider, as dictated by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.

For a complete overview of the dual training grant application process and timeline, click here.

To learn more about how Greater Fergus Falls can assist you in the application process for Minnesota’s PIPELINE program, get in touch with our team. We can be reached by email at or by phone at (218) 321-2079.

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