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ISD 728 Earns State Grant to Build Internship Partnerships

ISD 728 is one of 17 partnerships to share and receive $1.5 million in Youth Skills Training (YST) grants from the state of Minnesota, with an aim to develop and implement paid-learning opportunities for students 16 years of age and older.

“Youth Skills Training grants provide students with hands-on workforce training in high-demand, high-growth fields,” said Gov. Tim Walz. “Employers across the state are facing workforce shortages, and these innovative partnerships connect schools with local business to create career pathways for younger Minnesotans.”

ISD 728 was awarded their second YST@DLI grant in January for $80,000 for Students in Transportation, which will complement last year's grant for $100,000 for Students in Manufacturing. 

ISD 728 will use the grant to expand partnerships with local businesses. The CTE Internship program will allow students to explore these industries, gain valuable skills and earn certifications before high school graduation. The internships will be coordinated by Amy Lord, the District’s CTE specialist, and made available at all three traditional high schools in ISD 728.

The grants are part of a Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (YST@DLI) program, which was signed into law in 2017 with bipartisan support, to create and provide employment training for student learners ages 16 and older in high-growth, high-demand occupations.

"These grants allow high schools, businesses and community organizations to work together to train students and create skilled workers for their communities," said Nancy Leppink, DLI commissioner.

YST@DLI grants will be awarded to the following partnerships, who represent over 50 school districts and more than 100 employer partners in advanced manufacturing, agriculture, automotive, health care and information technology.

  • Bemidji Career Academies
  • Bloomington Public Schools
  • Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Public Schools
  • Detroit Lakes Public Schools
  • Elk River Area Schools
  • Faribault Public Schools
  • Forest Lake Area Schools
  • Genesys Works Twin Cities, St. Paul
  • Goodwill Industries, St. Paul
  • Lakeville Area Schools
  • Monticello Public Schools
  • North Branch Area Public Schools
  • Princeton Public Schools
  • Ramsey County Workforce Solutions
  • Red Wing Ignite
  • South West Metro Intermediate District, Shakopee
  • Spark-Y, Minneapolis

Grants can be used to create programs, recruit students and employers, provide training, transport students and pay for student certifications.

Twenty-five local partnerships throughout the state applied for this third round of grants. These partnerships involve more than 75 school districts and more than 130 employers in five different industries. A fourth round of grant applications will open in fall 2020.

To learn more about CTE Internships at Elk River, Rogers and Zimmerman High Schools go to www.ISD728.org/CTE or contact ISD 728 CTE Coordinator, Amy Lord (763) 241-3400 x 5016 or amy.lord@isd728.org

About YST@DLI

The YST@DLI program develops partnerships between schools, employers and community organizations to provide safe, healthy and meaningful paid work experience to students 16 and older. These locally developed partnerships provide exposure to industry, related classroom instruction, safety training, industry-recognized credentials and paid work experience.

For more information about the Youth Skills Training Program or grant opportunities, contact Rich Wessels at 651-284-5184 or yst.dli@state.mn.us.