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3 metro businesses share $144K in state funding

Monday, October 27, 2014

Article by SC Times

Three St. Cloud metro area businesses have received worker-training grants totaling $144,000 from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The grants, announced Tuesday, are from the Job Training Incentive Pilot Program. The program was launched this fall and is an outgrowth of the existing Minnesota Job Skills Partnership.

The funding will help train 17 new welders at C4 Welding Inc., and 20 new workers at Talon Innovations, both in Sauk Rapids. Another grant will help train 50 new welders to work at Edmonton Trailer Manufacturing in Sartell.

Edmonton Trailer, which is headquartered in Canada, is starting a manufacturing facility in a building previously used by Verso Paper Corp. Employees will make specialty and heavy-haul trailers. The company plans to hire 30 employees by December 2015 and 50 by December 2016.

C4, previously WFSI, is a fabricator and assembler of welded components for the oil and nuclear industries. The company recently relocated to a larger facility and the addition of 17 welders will complement earlier funding from the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership to help train 38 new employees.

Talon Innovations manufactures proprietary products and provides precision machining services for the semiconductor, medical device and aerospace industries. The 20 new jobs to be added in the next year will be in addition to 41 new employees trained with help of a previous DEED grant last November.

The Job Training Incentive Pilot Program is aimed at new or expanding businesses outside the Twin Cities metro area that have fewer than 150 full-time employees and are planning to expand their workforces by at least 10 percent, with a minimum of five new jobs.

Businesses in manufacturing, skilled production and information technology will receive funding priority in the program. Training can include basic skills, advanced technical skills, knowledge about specific industry equipment, processes, safety, worker-related language, soft skills or other areas identified by the employer.

Participating companies must provide a cash match of 50-100 percent, depending on the size of the business.

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