Saint Paul, MN

DEED Announces Tech Training Competitive Grant Winners

Abdi Isaaq

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ST. PAUL, MN - The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, or DEED, announced the Minnesota Tech Training Pilot Program Competitive Grant award recipients on August 17, who were chosen for their innovative methods to diversifying Minnesota's tech sector.

According to the American Community Survey, only 4 percent of IT jobs in Minnesota were held by Black people in 2019, and Hispanic people had 7 percent. The pilot program was created to address racial inequities in employment due to structural barriers that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students encounter when seeking an education.

As Minnesota continues to rebuild and recover from the pandemic and racial reckoning of

2020, DEED focuses on directing resources and services to the hardest-hit neighborhoods. The pilot initiatives will teach BIPOC young adults ages 18 to 30 in technology career pathways and place them in permanent jobs that pay a family-sustaining income.

"I am thrilled that this new program will engage young, creative BIPOC Minnesotans in tech career pathways," DEED Commissioner Steve Grove remarked. "This program will provide both skills and mentorship for young Minnesotans to experience hands-on training that can lead to high-quality and family-wage-sustaining jobs."

The following is a list of the organizations who received grants and the amount they received:

- Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence – $300,000

- Phyllis Wheatley Community Center – $215,468

- Prime Digital Academy – $200,000

- Software for Good – $200,000

The DEED website contains the details of their projects.

The pilot program was designed to offer employers the freedom to construct a framework and training program that included mentorship, paid work experience, on-the-job training, incumbent worker training, and tech skills training. Partnerships with employers, career and education navigation, work preparedness, job placement, and support services must all be included in participating programs.

Award recipients will reach out to young people in Minnesota who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color through a mix of online and in-person training opportunities that best meet the requirements of job seekers and employers in their community.

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