Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. Awarded $155,000 Drive for Five Grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

MANKATO, MN (March 20, 2024) – Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. (GMG) was awarded a $155,000 grant by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) as part of the Drive for Five Grant Program. DEED’s Drive for Five Initiative funds were made available in two parts. Part 1 applicants involved organizations that will provide critical workforce skills training to individuals in our state in the fields of technology, labor/trades, caring professions, manufacturing, and education. Part 2, for which GMG applied, involves making connections between those individuals receiving training and employers. Additionally, it involves providing diversity, inclusion, and retention (DEI) training.

The first part of the grant was made available to training providers and Greater Mankato Growth has two partner grants in this. The first partner grant was submitted by a collaboration between the South Central Workforce Council and the Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council. They will take the lead in the training initiative that will utilize multiple training providers as part of their work. Our second partner grant was submitted by MinnPoly, Minnesota’s only polytechnic institute, which is part of Minnesota State University, Mankato They will be providing training specifically tied to electronics manufacturing, which is a target industry for our region.

“Greater Mankato Growth is heavily engaged in helping businesses meet their employment needs. These grant funds will allow us to further those initiatives by holding workshops and other training events that will equip employers with the tools they need to identify, hire, and create a quality work environment for individuals with numerous barriers to employment,” said Ryan Vesey, Business Development Director at Greater Mankato Growth.

These grant funds will be used by multiple business units of GMG. Greater Mankato Growth, as a chamber of commerce, will enhance its newly-established initiative, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Collaborative. Through the organization’s work on behalf of the Regional Economic Development Alliance, GMG will provide job placement and recruitment strategy workshops. GreenSeam will utilize these grant funds to support the Global Workforce Program, which equips employers throughout southern Minnesota with the information and strategies they need to embrace a foreign-born workforce.

Shannon Gullickson, Leadership Programs Director at Greater Mankato Growth, noted, “The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Collaborative was designed in response to businesses requesting a program which would give them strategies to develop DEI action plans in their workplace. These funds will help us enhance this program and make it more accessible for small businesses.”

“GreenSeam’s Global Workforce Training programs began in October 2021. As the program grew, it was supported by the US Small Business Association (SBA) through funding for a grant program to assist employers with legal and HR strategy consulting. We are excited for the continued recognition of the value of these programs,” said Holly Callaghan, Economic Development Coordinator with GreenSeam.




Acerca de Greater Mankato Growth, Inc.
Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. is comprised of four business units: Greater Mankato Growth, the regional chamber of commerce and economic development organization; Visit Mankato, the local destination management organization; City Center Partnership, a downtown development organization; and GreenSeam, which utilizes agriculture to build on the region’s extensive agribusiness assets to develop the ag economy.

About the Regional Economic Development Alliance
In 2009, the Regional Economic Development Alliance (REDA) began with a progressive group of communities and counties joining together with Greater Mankato Growth in business attraction and development efforts. REDA participants include Eagle Lake, Lake Crystal, Madison Lake, Mankato, North Mankato, Saint Peter, Blue Earth County, and Nicollet County. By working together, the group is able to efficiently provide regional and individual city and county information to businesses interested in the Greater Mankato marketplace. As a result of promoting the individual strengths of each community, along with the combined assets of the regional marketplace, all experience collective success.

About GreenSeam
GreenSeam is an economic development organization for food and agriculture in southern MN and northern IA on a mission to elevate this region as the world-class food and agribusiness epicenter. Its work is guided by four focus areas: business attraction & creation, business retention & expansion, talent development & retention, and regional branding & promotion. As a community brand, GreenSeam’s work is made possible by its business and community investors and committee volunteers with a passion to see the food and ag industry continue to prosper and fuel communities.


Ryan Vesey
Business Development Director
Mayor crecimiento de Mankato
[email protected]

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