Skip to main content

Hennepin Tech receives $250,000 to develop Machine Tool Technology program for Uniquely Abled Adults

Governor Tim Walz tours Machine Tool Technology lab

Brooklyn Park, March 19, 2024

Hennepin Technical College recently announced direct receipt of a $250,000 Department of Employee and Economic Development (DEED) Drive for 5 grant to train Uniquely Abled Adults in Machine Tool Technology at the Brooklyn Park campus. They were also named as partners in two additional DEED grants, including Manufacturing and Healthcare at both the Eden Prairie and Brooklyn Park campuses.

The funds awarded will be used to launch a customized training program, based on the national model from the Uniquely Abled Academy (UAA), to provide education and hands-on training in high-demand Computer Numeric Control (CNC) Operating to individuals with level one autism.

The UAA, created by The Uniquely Abled Project (UAP), aims to provide vocational opportunities for the uniquely abled by matching their unique abilities to in-demand jobs. The UAA project prepares participants to enter a manufacturing career as a CNC operator through 10 weeks of education and hands-on training, wraparound supports, work-based learning opportunities, and placement/retention support. The UAA is a first of its kind program born out of collaboration between machine technology educators, specialists in education for those with autism, state and local social service agencies, and nonprofit and for-profit organizations. The program is dedicated to giving everyone the opportunity for workplace success and recognizes the unique abilities and talents of its students.

Today, the UAP has 16 Academies across the county, including a site in Mankato, Minn., at South Central College. Academies boast high placement rates. Nearly 100% of the recent 150 graduates of the program at Southwest State work in the CNC industry.

The Drive for 5 initiative was created to help fill in-demand positions in technology, the trades, caring professions, manufacturing, and education. This initiative is focused on these five occupational groupings because they are in high demand, are projected to be high-growth, and provide family-sustaining wages. Drive for 5 focuses on moving Minnesotans into high-growth employment opportunities with family sustainable wages and prioritizes training for populations that face some of the most significant barriers to employment: people of color, people with disabilities, and those that face other systemic barriers.

About Hennepin Technical College

Founded in 1972, Hennepin Technical College is the largest stand-alone technical college in Minnesota. With campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie, the college offers degree and non-degree courses in over 40 programs in the skilled trades and high-demand career fields. Achieving a high job placement rate, Hennepin Tech prepares students for high-paying employment opportunities.


Last updated by mdibba : 2024-03-26 11:36:16