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Xcel Energy and DEED call for community partners to provide construction training

A new public-private partnership aims to grow a workforce pipeline and provide strong career pathway opportunities, says DEED.

St. Paul – Xcel Energy is leveraging Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) expertise in training program oversight and grant management to issue a request for proposals (RFP) from Minnesota training providers.

The Xcel Energy Power Up training program will provide a workforce training pipeline for a variety of energy-related construction occupations.

Xcel Energy is investing $4 million in the initiative, $3.6 million of which will go toward two $1.8 million grants to provide apprenticeship readiness and basic construction skills training over four years. The RFP is slated to open at the end of March and be open for 45 days.

“The Xcel Energy PowerUp program will help train and support the next generation of clean energy workers and leaders in Minnesota, and it will help us continue the recovery from the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chris Clark, President, Xcel Energy — Minnesota.  “Partnership with DEED on this project will help grow the workforce pipeline Xcel Energy and other Minnesota employers need during this tight labor market.”

“Ensuring Minnesota employers have the workforce needed to grow and thrive here — and that Minnesotans have the training opportunities they need to land good-paying, family-sustaining employment — is central to what we do at DEED,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “We’re excited to partner with Xcel Energy on this project, which provides great opportunity to businesses and workers across the state.”

Application for the Xcel Energy PowerUp training will be open to any Minnesotan. Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) community members, military veterans and women are especially encouraged to apply. Program application is expected to begin later in 2022.

While employment with Xcel Energy is not the primary anticipated outcome of the program nor guaranteed, participants will have the ability to earn industry recognized certifications, improve skills, gain experience and have facilitated entry into a trades apprenticeship.

Training providers and others interested in learning more about the Xcel Energy PowerUp training program are invited to join an informational webinar on Tuesday, March 15, from 10 a.m. – noon. Webinar details are below.

This session is an opportunity to learn about program goals and share perspectives on community needs ahead of the opening of the RFP. For those not able to join, the webinar will be recorded for later viewing.

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