Deputy Commissioner Warfa: Training opportunities for Minnesotans looking for in-demand jobs

Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development’s Pathways to Prosperity provides workforce development and training opportunities to eligible adults and helps place them in high-growth, high-demand industries with long-term employment opportunities. Photo: Courtesy DEED

There are about 60,000 jobs posted in Minnesota right now. Minnesota employers are hiring. But jobs in demand now have shifted in some cases from those in demand pre-pandemic. Sometimes landing one of those jobs in demand now means getting prepared with additional training.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), together with its workforce development partners, wants to help through CareerForce services.

If you were laid off during the pandemic and need additional help preparing for an in-demand career, you may be eligible for counselor-approved education or training through Dislocated Worker services. People who lost work due to civil unrest may also be eligible for help through the dislocated worker program.

Another option for eligible adults is Pathways to Prosperity. Pathways to Prosperity provides workforce development and training opportunities to eligible adults and helps place them in high-growth, high-demand industries with long-term employment opportunities. Training opportunities range from preparation for manufacturing careers to training for health care careers. Some training is geared specifically toward people learning English.

In addition, some employers hiring now offer on-the-job training. Search “on the job training” when looking at current postings on CareerForceMN.com to find options. There are thousands of jobs posted on CareerForceMN.com that offer on the job training. Just two examples: there are more than 380 current Personal Care Aide (PCA) postings and 500+ current manufacturing postings offering on-the-job training right now. And some employers offer paid professional training and certification, like transportation companies offering to pay people to get their commercial driver’s license (CDL).

And, the state’s Coursera initiative offers Minnesotans a chance to explore new career fields, take classes for college credit and earn valuable certifications to help prepare for your next job – all at no cost to you. Minnesotans have enrolled in more than 15,000 courses through Coursera so far. The top five courses people are taking to prepare for their next job or grow in their current one are: Technical Support Fundamentals; Programming for Everyone (Python); Excel Skills for Business; COVID-19 Contract Tracing; and Initiating and Planning Projects.

DEED and our workforce development partners throughout Minnesota are here to help through CareerForce services. We regularly hear from people who struggled on their own trying to find work, then contacted us and got the help they needed whether it was guidance in revising their resume or getting financial assistance for the training they needed for a career path job.

“It goes without saying I would not have landed here without the consistent guidance and support I received from Hired at a critical time in my life,” explains Ishmam, who got the training he needed through the Dislocated Worker program at CareeForce proud partner Hired and wants to make sure other job seekers get the help they need. “I know Beth and the CareerForce team will help make it happen for Minnesota.”

“I’ve cut my stress level to an eighth of what it was and more than doubled my income,” Bunni says about the career change she made from working in a coffee shop to long haul trucker, thanks to a grant to pay for CDL training she got with the assistance of CareerForce in Woodbury. “I’m super grateful for the grant. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without it.”

“I figured out that I wanted to go into being a teacher,” says Yailyn, who is gaining work experience and working toward her bachelor’s degree thanks to Northfield Healthy Community Initiative, a CareerForce Proud Partner that received a Pathways to Prosperity grant. “Working with students and just seeing them progress in such a little time…where they started reading a passage where they could only read a couple words… to the end, where they can read it completely and fluently, is heartwarming, and I love that.”

There are many jobs out there for Minnesotans now. Getting a job, and getting on a sustainable career path for the future, may mean changing careers or refreshing skills. If you are in this place right now, there are many training opportunities out there. I want to encourage everyone looking for work to contact staff at a CareerForce location near you to find out more and get the help you need.

About Deputy Commissioner Hamse Warfa

Appointed in April 2019, Deputy Commissioner Warfa is the highest ranking African immigrant in Minnesota government. In his role at DEED, Deputy Commissioner Warfa oversees Minnesota State’s Employment and Training programs, the Office of Economic Opportunity, Minnesota’s CareerForce resources and the Governor’s Workforce Development Board. He is Minnesota’s Authorized Representative with the U.S. Department of Labor for all Employment and Training Programs. Warfa holds a Masters in Organizational Management and Leadership from Springfield College in Massachusetts, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from San Diego University.

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