Dec 12, 2018 | By: Shirelle Moore

PIPELINE Program Hosts Meeting Regarding Bemidji Area Workforce

How do we find workers with the right skills? That was the question at the start of the workforce conversation held in the Mayflower Building in Bemidji. The meeting was facilitated by officials with the PIPELINE program.

“The PIPELINE program really exists to support employers into developing their own dual training programs, and by that, we mean related instruction paired with on-the-job training that creates a very powerful learning experience for existing and new employees,” says Annie Welch, the PIPELINE program manager.

PIPELINE says for Private Investment, Public Education, Labor and Industry Experience. Right now, PIPELINE focuses on job-training programs for four industries, which are Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology, Health Care Services and Agriculture. PIPELINE is branching out to Bemidji to see where they can be of service.

“We realize that we can easily become kind of honed in on our home base in the Metro area, so we feel that it’s really important to get out across the state and get to talk to people from all over, so we’ve been really excited to come up to Bemidji,” says Welch.

A little over a dozen Bemidji area businesses and industry leaders were apart of today’s meeting. They discussed their successes and the challenges that they face in the area.

“We had great representation from employer partners, the community and technical college system, from non-profits, from staffing agencies, but really industry leaders from the area all came together today to talk about common challenges,” says Welch.

The next steps will be taking the information gathered from the discussion and creating effective on-the-job training to fill the workforce needs.

Welch says, “We met with employers who were coming from a few different points in their exploration of what this program could look like for them. So our team is prepared to meet with them and help move them along in the process of developing programs. We also learned a lot from them of what various challenges they’re facing and how PIPELINE could be a part of the solution.”

Some challenges addressed in the meeting include transportation, cost of living and childcare for workers. You can find more about the PIPELINE program here.

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