Posted: July 22, 1998

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

The critically important trend of higher education working hand-in-hand with industry took a major step forward this week with the announcement that the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system has chosen five of its schools to be the lead institutions in its Targeted Industry Partnership Initiative. Each school will receive $750,000 to work with a particular industry to develop and deliver an instructional services based on industry-defined needs. The MnSCU system will spend an additional $250,000 for research, coordination and evaluation. The initiative grants proposed by MnSCU were funded by the Minnesota Legislature during its last session. They are an important part of MnSCU's continuing commitment to align higher education with the needs of employers and students. "As Minnesota's economy continues to grow, MnSCU recognizes its responsibility to partner with key industries to address both a critical worker shortage and a widespread need to upgrade skills,'' said Morris J. Anderson, chancellor of MnSCU. "This effort will implement an industry-driven service model that meets the needs of employers and workers, both present and future." The five targeted industries and the MnSCU institutions chosen to be lead partners are: Health care Mankato State University Precision manufacturing Hennepin Technical College (collaborating with Century College, Dakota County Technical College and St.Paul Technical College)

Printing and graphics South Central College Software production St. Paul Technical College (Collaborating with Dakota County Technical College) Taconite production Itasca Community College for the Northeast Training Unit (Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College, Hibbing Community College, Itasca Community College, Lake Superior College, Laurentian Community & Technical College District, Rainy River Community College)

The industries were selected to participate in the initiative due to their key economic development contributions to the state. The schools were chosen because they made superior proposals as judged by review committees made up of industry leaders. Richard Tvedten, MnSCU's system director for continuing education and customized training, coordinated the review meetings. Staff from MnSCU schools and K-12 school districts will serve with industry leaders on partnership committees. Together, education and industry leaders will be responsible for achieving the following goals: Permanent statewide industry partnership committees Common language to address industry-specific skills New curriculum validated to industry standards Flexible program alignment and delivery based on industry needs Industry-driven recruitment effort in partnership with K-12 education Industry satisfaction with MnSCU effort The partnership committees will begin work immediately by hiring an industry coordinator for each of the five projects.