ST. PAUL – State Rep. Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, encourages college-bound students across Minnesota to apply for workforce development scholarships worth $2,500 or more for high-demand occupations in the state.
The scholarships are for students pursuing careers within advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services, information technology, early childhood education and transportation at any of the 30 colleges in the Minnesota State system.
“This is a great opportunity for students to take advantage of a successful scholarship pilot program with funding that has been increased for the next two years,” Demuth said. “These scholarships will enhance access and opportunities for students, while addressing the workforce shortage – especially in Greater Minnesota. Good jobs that pay well are available and I hope these scholarships pave the way to helping students find rewarding careers.”
Minnesota State indicates nearly 400 Workforce Development Scholarships of $2,500 were awarded during the 2018-2019 academic year, covering approximately half the cost of tuition and fees for the required credits. Minnesota State also reports many colleges raised additional funds from private sources to supplement the dollars provided by the Legislature for this program.
“I attended the recent 2019 Workforce Development Scholarship Tour at SCTCC and it was exciting to hear about the successes this project,” Demuth said. “There has been renewed focus on bridging the gap between student training and workforce demands to help people find the right career track and this is just one way we are achieving positive results. It’s very encouraging to see this develop and it bodes well for parts of the state such as ours where a skills gap has been evident.”
These scholarships were made possible by a $7 million appropriation from the Legislature after a successful $1 million pilot program in the 2018-19 academic year. With the additional funding, the number of available scholarships will increase to an estimated 668 in 2020.
Students who were awarded a scholarship for the fall 2018 semester are eligible to apply again if they have completed two academic terms with a minimum of nine credits each and have maintained a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
Financial aid office at Minnesota State colleges can provide more details regarding these or other scholarship and financial aid opportunities. Additional information is available at http://minnstate.edu/stories/wds.