Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken today announced that Minnesota will receive $5,750,000 to support dislocated workers by connecting them with critical services such as career planning, job training, transitional jobs, and apprenticeships. The funds will support job training programs through the Department of Labor’s Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant program.

“When hardworking Minnesotans lose their jobs through no fault of their own, it is our duty to help them get back on their feet,” Klobuchar said. “This critical support will help displaced workers get the training they need to find a good-paying job in one of our state’s competitive industries.”

“There are more than three million jobs in manufacturing, healthcare, IT, and many other industries that could be filled today if there were workers who had the right skills,” Franken said. “These grants will go a long way towards bringing together schools and businesses to train workers for in-demand jobs. Filling these open jobs will benefit workers, businesses, and communities in Minnesota and around the country.”

The Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant program will fund innovative job training programs that align with the needs of local and regional industries.

Klobuchar has long supported efforts to help workers succeed in an increasingly specialized workforce while making the country’s economy more competitive. She helped pass the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in June 2014, which included her bipartisan provision to help match the skills of workers with the needs of local employers. The provision established competitive grants for partnerships that help provide workers with the skills needed to fill vacancies in up-and-coming industries. She is also leading bipartisan legislation with Republican Sen. John Hoeven, the Innovate America Act, which would fund 100 new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)-focused high schools and help ensure workers have the skills they need for today’s competitive global economy.

Since taking office, Franken has been a strong advocate for investments in workforce training. He’s met with business leaders all over Minnesota to talk about ways to address the skills gap, where job openings go unfilled because businesses can’t find workers with the right skills. A member of the Senate Education Committee, Franken took a lead role in working to pass the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) through the Senate, and he attended the White House signing of the bill. Franken fought for provisions in WIOA to bolster partnerships between community and technical colleges and businesses to train workers. Those measures are similar to ones in his Community College to Career Fund Act