You can reach your dreams – right here

Apply by March 15 for Workforce Ready education and training awards

The Greater Itasca WORKFORCE READY Education Awards at the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation will once again provide $75,000 for local workforce education and training awards (free money you do not have to pay back) for people who want to live here, work here, and stay here.

“The typical scholarship award at the Community Foundation is over $1,000. The average WORKFORCE READY Education Award is over $2,000,” says Sarah Copeland, Director of Grants and Programs at the Community Foundation. “We have provided almost half a million dollars for workforce education and certifications in the past five years. Apply now. Some of this money can be yours – just do it by March 15!”

Five local businesses have each committed $5,000 to provide the WORKFORCE READY Education Awards. Jerry and Cathie (Saxhaug) Anderson have matched each business’ donation, 2:1, making the total amount available for 2019 workforce education and training $75,000.

​You’ve heard the old adage " You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink." Jerry Anderson puts it this way, “If you are thirsty to improve your skills or get a job - we have the water!”

Dalton Feldhaus, a 2017 graduate from Nashwauk-Keewatin High School pursued his education as an electrician and received $9,000 in WORKFORCE READY education funds in 2017 and 2018. In addition, he received $2,000 from the JW Kumpula Scholarship; $2,000 from the Greater Itasca VoTech/Community College (Gibbons Family Scholarship Fund); and $2,000 from the NMBA (Northern MN Builders’ Association) Scholarship over the last two years.

Dalton is going to be an electrician – right here. “Think about what it means to help a young person get training, and start their career, right here at home, without incurring the burden of student loans. Dalton now has a needed skill, and is ready to start a lasting career, earning a living wage – right here. Keep a look out for Dalton. Who knows, he could be helping to improve local infrastructure or perhaps powering up new homes and businesses, and coaching your grandkid’s baseball team,” says Copeland.

Contributors to the WORKFORCE READY Education Awards include: Grand Itasca Foundation*, Northern Minnesota Builders’ Association (NMBA)*, MDI*, Industrial Lubricant Company, and Northern Industrial Erectors (NIE).

*Grand Itasca Foundation, Northern Minnesota Builders’ Association and MDI also offer additional scholarships and awards through the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation.

“There are three main ways to support a healthy current and future local workforce,” notes Copeland. “You can provide jobs, provide money for education and training, and/or you can encourage people to apply for the money for their education and training.”

If you are interested in providing jobs or internships to local people who have specific skills beyond a high school education, contact our local Workforce Center. If you are an employer and need help making that connection, give us a call.

If you are interested in joining our effort to provide two years or less of education and training for people who want to live here, work here, and stay here, please contact the Community Foundation at (218) 999-9100.

It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to help people reach their dreams – right here. “It’s really easy to let people know about money for education and training. All you need to do is talk to people you see. I do it! I was at the grocery yesterday and asked the person bagging my food if he was graduating from high school this year. He said ‘yes’, and I told him that the Community Foundation has money for school. All he needed to do was go to the Community Foundation’s website and apply,” says Copeland.

Northern Minnesota Builders’ Association (NMBA) held their Home and Cabin Show this past weekend. I hope you had the opportunity to get to there, find out about what NMBA does, and talk to professionals in the building trades.

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350 NW 1st Ave, Suite E  | Grand Rapids, MN 55744  |  218-999-9100

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