Posted: May 24, 1999

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities have won top honors from Partnership Minnesota for their ongoing work with five high-growth industries. Partnership Minnesota is a program that promotes and annually recognizes excellent government services.

The award honors Minnesota State Colleges and Universities for addressing critical workforce needs, adopting industry training standards and aligning training programs with industry needs in printing, precision manufacturing, health care, taconite and software production. Each of MnSCU's five industry partnerships is directed by a steering committee of key industry leaders and educators.

"These targeted partnerships are really starting to work because they are driven by industry and its needs," said Morris J. Anderson, chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. "With informed industry leaders at the table with us, we can move quickly and continuously to align our educational programs with workforce needs."

Throughout the 1990s, individual state colleges and universities have worked with local businesses to provide contract training for their employees. Last year, MnSCU served more than 2,000 firms with customized training, reaching about 100,000 employees. The targeted industry partnerships are unique because they represent a strategic statewide approach to meeting industry needs.

The Minnesota Legislature provided the start-up funds to launch the five partnerships in 1998. Results to date vary by industry, but include adoption of industry standards, course and program consolidations, creation of educational "ladders" for individuals to build on skills throughout their careers and plans to create regional
training centers of excellence on designated campuses. Inver Hills Community College also won top honors for its CISCO Computer Networking Training Program.

Eleven other MnSCU institutions received commendations for a variety of projects. They are: St. Cloud State University, Central Lakes College, Dakota County Technical College, Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical, Itasca Community College, South Central College, Ridgewater College, Southwest State University, Anoka-Hennepin Technical College, Minneapolis Community and Technical College and the UAW-Ford-MnSCU Training Center.