Finding skilled employees can be difficult for a business. We work with numerous manufacturers, and have found this to be a shared challenge for the majority of them. Luckily, we have been able to help several of them obtain tens of thousands of dollars in funding from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (MNDEED), to assist in providing customized training to their current employees, increasing their skills, which ultimately increases our clients’ bottom line.
One of MNDEED’s fantastic programs, called the MN Job Skills Partnership (MJSP) works strategically with both businesses and educational institutions to train or retrain workers, expand work opportunities and keep high-quality jobs in the state. Since the program’s inception in 1983 the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Program has awarded nearly $132 million and helped train and educate 261,192 Minnesota workers.
We recently attended an MJSP grant signing ceremony for UMA Precision Machining in Zimmerman, Minnesota. UMA Precision Machining is a machine shop that serves the medical and food/ beverage industries. UMA also provides precision machine components for contract manufacturing in the areas of military, armament, electronic and instrument industries. Founded in 2000 in MN, UMA is a family owned and operated business which began in a small garage, and is now located in a brand new 25,000 sq.ft. state-of-the-art facility.
Decklan Group partnered with the UMA and Anoka-Ramsey Community College to apply for an MJSP grant late last year. The grant was approved and MNDEED awarded a $49,791 grant to Anoka-Ramsey Community College to provide customized training to 20 employees at UMA in Zimmerman. Additionally, Tom McChesney, owner and President of UMA has partnered with ISD 728, specifically Zimmerman Middle/School High School Principal Marco Voce and Instructor Jason Savage, to bring in four students who will participate in the training as well. The parties hope this will help encourage students to pursue careers in manufacturing. The company will be providing a nearly three to one match, with over $139,000 of in-kind contributions to the program.
The entire UMA workforce will participate in one to seven courses onsite: Operations Management, Leadership, Creating a Workplace of Precision and Speed, 5S for Manufacturing, Value Stream Mapping for Manufacturing and Standardized Work. Anoka-RamseyCommunity College will provide hourly-based certificates for employees who complete training successfully.
Congratulations to UMA Precision Machining and Anoka-Ramsey Community College! We look forward to continuing to work with both of you for many years to come!
For photos of the signing event, check out our Facebook page.