News Release Logo

DEED Partners with Lake Superior College, AAR Corporation to Train Workers

LSC awarded $89,265 from the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Program

July 17, 2014

Madeline Koch, 651-259-7236

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has awarded a $89,265 grant to Lake Superior Community College to train 50 eligible, low-income workers as aircraft support technicians.

The grant was awarded under the agency’s Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Program. The program works strategically with both businesses and educational institutions to train or retrain workers, expand work opportunities and keep high-quality jobs in the state. In this grant, AAR Corporation, a provider of products and services to the aerospace, government and defense industries, provided matching funds of more than $51,000.  

“We are striving to better align our current workforce with the demands of our businesses,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “To date, the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Program has trained more than 260,000 Minnesotans. In this project, eligible individuals, particularly women and members of minority populations, will gain the skills necessary to build their educational and career paths and AAR Corporation gains workers trained specifically for their business needs.”   

With support from Governor Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature, the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Program has awarded $23.5 million since 2011 to train 30,535 workers and has leveraged $56.4 million in private funding.  

AAR Corporation employs nearly 300 employees, including 115 contract personnel, in Duluth providing aircraft overhaul and repair services for Air Canada. AAR is expanding from three to four maintenance lines and will require additional support technicians.  

MJSP funding will partner with Lake Superior College to provide eligible trainees with pre-employment and skills training.       

The college will develop a 60-hour Aircraft Maintenance Support Training Program for AAR which includes: Introduction to AAR, General Safety Knowledge, General Aircraft Knowledge, Use of General Aircraft Tools, General Aircraft Cleaning, and Working with Aircraft. The Duluth WorkForce Center and SOAR Career Solutions will assist with recruiting and screening eligible individuals and provide trainees with an overview of the occupation. Those who successfully complete the training will have a direct pipeline to support technician jobs at the Duluth AAR facility that pay an entry-level wage of $13 an hour.    

For more information on the grant, contact Steve Wagner, Lake Superior Community College, 218-733-5934.  

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit us at Follow us on Twitter at  



Upon request, this information can be made available in alternate formats for people with disabilities by contacting the DEED Communications Office at 651-259-7161.