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Minnesota tech colleges get $17 million to retrain workers

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Fourteen campuses in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system will share more than $17 million in grants with much of the money aimed at training workers in advanced manufacturing programs.

    Grants will fund training for 3,000 students over three years, said Annette Parker, president of South Central College, a school with campuses in North Mankato and Faribault. Manufacturers will also offer internships and apprenticeships.

    "They're certifications that have been developed and validated by business and industry in the manufacturing sector," said Parker, whose staff will administer nearly $15 million in grants.

    The U.S. Department of Labor funding comes at a time when manufacturers have been complaining about a lack of workers with advanced skills.