BEMIDJI, Minn. (April 10, 2012) — In March, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system announced a statewide workforce assessment initiative to address Minnesota’s growing skills gap. The system, in a joint effort with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, will tour the state and directly engage Minnesota companies in developing precise projections of how many workers and professionals, with what kinds of skills, will be needed for different jobs in different regions of the state.
The system will initially include assessments from six industry sectors – healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, engineering, energy and transportation. Beginning on April 19, the tour will make three stops in Bemidji covering the transportation, healthcare and information technology sectors. The three, two-hour sessions each will follow an identical format: 30 minutes for registration and networking, a 20-minute welcome and data presentation, and a 70-minute workforce assessment session that will focus on taking direct input from the businesses and industries in attendance.
Thursday, April 19 – Transportation
Location: Bemidji Chrysler Center, located at 755 Paul Bunyan Dr. NW in Bemidji.
Time: 9-11 a.m.
Wednesday, April 25 – Healthcare
Location: Education AV Room; Sanford Bemidji Hospital, located at 1300 Anne St. NW in Bemidji.
Time: 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 2 – Information Technology
Location: Paul Bunyan Communications, located at 1831 Anne St. NW in Bemidji.
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Space for each of the three sessions is limited, so interested businesses are encouraged to register early. Direct links to registration information for each of the three Bemidji sessions, which include maps showing the meeting locations:
• Transportation; Monday, April 16 registration deadline.
• Healthcare; Sunday, April 22 registration deadline.
• Information Technology; Sunday, April 29 registration deadline.
The three Bemidji sessions are part of a state-wide tour of more than 40 listening sessions. These sessions will allow the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system to hear directly from employers about their current and future workforce needs. The data gathered from the listening sessions will be used by the system to align its certificate and degree, worker retraining and customized training programs with the needs of Minnesota business and industry.
The tour will expand to include sessions on agriculture in June and July, and will add additional sectors such as financial services and insurance this fall. For more information about the tour or the system-office assessment initiative, contact Melinda Voss at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities at (651) 201-1804 or firstname.lastname@example.org.