ATCC partners with local manufacturers to offer huge scholarships

Mar 6, 2020 | 3:23 PM

Minnesota faces a shortage of skilled employees in several sectors critical to the state’s economy.  In response, the Minnesota Legislature created the Workforce Development Scholarship program. 

Minnesota State piloted the program with $1 million during the 2017-2018 school year.  Based on the pilot program’s success, the Legislature increased funding to the Workforce Development Scholarship program, providing $2 million for scholarships during the 2019-20 academic year, $6 million in the 2020-21 academic year, and $4 million in ongoing annual base funding beginning in the 2021-22 academic year.  This represents 66-$2,500 scholarships for ATCC students. 

Students enrolled in a high-demand occupational program leading to employment in one of the six industries (Advanced Manufacturing, Agriculture, Health Care Services, Information Technology, Early Childhood Education, and Transportation) are eligible for the program.  Other requirements are that students must be from Minnesota and maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average.  Alexandria Technical & Community College is partnering with 10 area high schools to find qualified candidates.   

The college has also created a new category of scholarships. According to Jeff Wild, ATCC Foundation Executive Director, “Workplace Learning Scholarships are different and unique in that ATCC can increase the allocation by raising private scholarship funds, which are matched with the additional state-funded scholarships during subsequent academic years.  By partnering with local manufacturers, we are able to offer each student up to $5,000 by using state funds ($2,500) the first year and the match ($2,500) the second year. Partner organizations will also have the opportunity to interview these students for hands on, paid summer work experience. ”

Industry manufacturing partners include Aagard, Alexandria Industries, FAST Global Solutions, Brenton Engineering and Douglas Machine. In addition, Polaris Industries is partnering on scholarships for Powersports students and Ziegler CAT for Diesel Mechanics students. “The support that we’ve received from our industry partners is huge and has allowed us the opportunity to leverage additional scholarships from the State,” said ATCC President Michael Seymour.   

“It’s a win-win scenario,” said Seymour. “It’s an opportunity to attract more students into high demand occupations, provide on-the-job work experience for the student, and continue to work with business and industry to build the pipeline of trained, quality workforce in the region.”

For more information about Workforce Development Scholarships and Manufacturing or Powersports Workplace Learning Scholarships, visit

Note: Application deadline for most scholarships is April 1, 2020, with the exception of the Powersports Workplace Learning Scholarship, which has a deadline of April 15. Scholarship information may not be available after this time. Please call the ATCC Foundation with questions: 320-762-4670.

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