St. Cloud State University, in partnership with EssilorLuxottica and Dubow, earned a $260,000 training grant and a $280,000 training grant respectively. These grants were awarded to St. Cloud State from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) recently under the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership.
As part of the grant, St. Cloud State is partnering with local industry companies to strengthen their workforce and will provide customized training to help them maintain their competitive edge in their industries and meet future demands.
Each company will acquire training customized to its specific needs and equipment in order to develop a workforce with cutting-edge knowledge and skills. EssilorLuxottixa, Dubow and St. Cloud State will partner with St. Cloud Technical & Community College (SCTCC) and Ridgewater Community College to deliver customized training.
The grants are intended to have three outcomes:
- The incumbent worker is gaining skills they can carry with them
- The company is gaining a stronger workforce with enhanced skills specific to their industry
- St. Cloud State, SCTCC and Ridgewater are gaining increased capacity to develop and deliver new programming that can be used by other businesses
In North America, EssilorLuxottica operates 126 labs and approximately 400 labs worldwide. Locally, EssilorLuxottica St. Cloud Campus is the parent company for five labs in the St. Cloud area: DBL, Precision Optics, EPIC, Custom Eyes and Glass Labs. They are one of the top 15 employers in the St. Cloud area, employing 585 individuals. St. Cloud labs focus on creating the most technologically advanced lenses, including Varilux, Crizal and Transitions.
Founded in 1991, Dubow is a global leader in diverse decorating offerings for apparel and hard goods. Dubow employs 210 staff members producing approximately 30,000 custom printed items shipping to 10,000 locations around the world on a daily basis. Unlike many other companies during COVID, Dubow’s sales exploded and is now considered one of the top three largest decorator apparel companies in the United States with state-of-the-art technology.
Both companies plan to increase their employees’ specific technical skills to support technological advancements in this rapidly changing industry along with quality improvement processes and LEAN deployment. The MJSP supported training programs will continue to enhance and expand the current in-house training programs and develop new customized training programs to maintain these companies’ competitive edge in their industries.
St. Cloud State University’s Center for Continuing Studies partners with businesses to offer professional development, customized training and host conferences and events. The St. Cloud State Center for Continuing Studies has partnered with 15 companies on grants totaling over $4 million since 2011 and serves over 5,000 employees with customized training.