The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has awarded workforce development grants totaling $1.5 million to train nearly 3,000 workers under the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership, including to two Mankato-area partnerships.

South Central College and IMC Company will receive just under $50,000 to train 35 employees of IMC Company to improve the skills of existing maintenance mechanics and create an educational pathway for developing maintenance mechanics. Three manufacturing companies operate under the IMC umbrella, including Downs Food Group and Dotson Iron Castings, both in Mankato, and BIC Graphic, Sleepy Eye.

Minnesota State University, Mankato and Nidec Corporation in North Mankato was awarded almost $181,000. The company is a global leader in the motor industry, and purchased Emerson/Kato Engineering, which employs 379 people who manufacture power generation equipment. Training will cover seven main topics: Passion/Challenge for Excellence; Enthusiasm/Customer Centric; Tenacity/Work Hard and Smart; Creativity; Respect; Collaboration; and Integrity. The entire workforce will participate.

The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership works with businesses and educational institutions to train or retrain workers, expand work opportunities and keep high-quality jobs in the state. The program has awarded $53.1 million since 2011 to train almost $65,000 workers and has leveraged $113 million in private funding.