Lakes & Prairies Community Action in partnership with Minnesota State Community and Technical College,(M-State) piloted a workforce development project that started July 5. The case manager recruited within our agency, day labors, and job service. Our model identified 11 participants that are in need of work, higher-wage job and were able to commit to a 6-week course. Throughout the course clients had to perform hands-on testing in three different areas of welding Shielded Metal, Gas Metal, and Gas Tungsten. The clients who were able to get 70% in all these areas and a 100% in the hands-on welding they were offered the option to take a qualification test to get certified. The instructor also covered book work and testing in each of these areas. The clients were taught how to Blueprint Read so that they are able to know what they are welding when they get a job.
Lakes & Prairies staff provided case management throughout this course. The case manager was able to check in with the clients daily to see if they needed any assistance with possible barriers. One barrier that crossed our path was some of the math, which the case manager offered a study guide and guidance in building peer support. On week 4 of this course the case manager put together a resume building and skills identification workshop. Clients were able to come in and look at skills that they needed to possibly work on, while also putting together their resume. The same day we offered a small job fair where 3 welding companies came in for the clients to ask questions and get applications.
The last day of class was August 11 and we had 5 clients successfully complete the course and 1 that had enough time to get the certification that was offered at the end.