Contact: Katryn Conlin, Communications Director
Workforce Development Scholarships at MSC Southeast increase to $162,500 in the 2020-2021 academic year
Funds are helping students train for careers in high-demand, high-paying fields
(Red Wing and Winona, MN) March 1, 2021 -- The ongoing shortage of qualified employees in Southeast Minnesota continues to be an issue for the region's employers. Fortunately, even with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, students have been coming to the campuses of Minnesota State College Southeast to train in high-skilled, high-demand occupations.
However, the cost of tuition and other college expenses is still be a challenge.
"The pandemic has created additional financial burdens for many students. This year, Workforce Development Scholarships are providing our students with the funds they need to stay in college and complete their degrees for the many well-paying jobs that are currently available," said Larry Lundblad, Interim President of Minnesota State College Southeast.
Recognizing the need for more graduates in career and technical programs, the Minnesota State Legislature first allocated funding for a program piloting Workforce Development Scholarships in 2017. With that support, MSC Southeast awarded $40,000 in scholarships for students in high-demand career and technical programs in 2018-2019.
In 2019-2020, state funding and additional funds from Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation made it possible to award a total of $87,500 in Workforce Development Scholarships.
In 2020-2021, state and MSC Southeast Foundation funding for Workforce Development Scholarships was dramatically increased to $162,500! This year, a total of 82 students received scholarships for $1250 (one semester) or $2500 (two semesters).
Liz Lee is a Practical Nursing student on the Red Wing campus and was awarded a two-semester Workforce Development Scholarship. "I can take what I learn -- hands on, clinical, classroom, and lab -- and be ready for job interviews and actually working in the field," she said.
Winona-based Mechatronics student Jacob Montoya was also awarded a two-semester scholarship. "I'm fortunate to have found an opportunity to continue pursuing my interest in robotics after high school," he said. "By finding the Mechatronics program at MSC Southeast I will be able to turn my hobby into a career."
Students majoring in Auto Body Collision Technology, Automotive Technology, Bicycle Design & Fabrication, Biomedical Equipment Technology, CNC Machine Tool, Mechatronics, Medical Laboratory Technician, Practical Nursing, Radiography, Truck Driving, and Welding received Workforce Development Scholarships.
While many of the workforce-related majors have been taught on campus this year, Workforce Development Scholarships were also awarded to students majoring in online programs, including Cyber & Information Security, Early Childhood Education, Medical Support Careers, Network Administration & Technology, and Software Development & Support.
"We are very grateful that the Minnesota State Legislature is providing the resources to encourage students to pursue these career fields," said Larry Lundblad. "Workforce Development Scholarships help make it possible for them to stay in college and complete their programs."
About Minnesota State College Southeast
Minnesota State College Southeast is a two-year technical and community college that prepares students for a lifetime of learning by providing education for employment, skill enhancement, retraining, and transfer, to meet the needs of students and the community. The Winona campus opened in 1949, merging with the Red Wing campus in 1992 and updating its name to Minnesota State College Southeast in 2016 with the change of mission to offer both technical training and the associate of arts degree. Minnesota State College Southeast is a member of Minnesota State. For more information, visit www.southeastmn.edu.