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City of Duluth to build manufacturing workforce strategy

By Kelli Latuska

The City of Duluth will join a new peer-learning cohort led by the National League of Cities and the US Department of Labor to accelerate city and workforce board efforts to design, develop, and launch a workforce initiative to build pathways into good jobs.

The Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy works with municipalities and their partners to spur innovative and scalable city-supported solutions that upskill and reskill workers into quality, high-demand jobs in infrastructure, clean energy, and advanced manufacturing jobs made possible by investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

“We are excited to work collaboratively with employers, training partners, and the Duluth Workforce Development Board to build pathways into manufacturing careers, which offer good wages and opportunities for growth and advancement,” says Elena Foshay, Director of Workforce Development. “This is an exciting opportunity for our community and the region, and we look forward to learning from national experts and peers from across the country.”

Good Jobs, Great Cities will help Duluth Workforce Development and the Duluth Workforce Development Board build a sector strategy focused on manufacturing. This effort will support and sustain existing manufacturers that have current and future workforce needs, as well as create an economic environment that attracts new businesses. Additionally, DWD will connect more job seekers, particularly women and people of color, to quality manufacturing jobs that offer good wages, benefits, and opportunities for growth and advancement.

Participation in the Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy will also help build a stronger connection between our educational institutions and manufacturing employers to offer broader access to career pathways in the manufacturing sector.

“Led by Workforce Development Director Elena Foshay, the City of Duluth has some of the most robust Workforce Development programs in this region,” says Mayor Emily Larson about the city’s involvement in the academy. “While recent work has been primarily focused on making a positive impact within the construction and healthcare industries’ workforces, I am so excited for our city’s ability to tap into the resources provided by the National League of Cities’ Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy as we work to develop and scale an advanced manufacturing workforce development initiative.”

The City of Duluth is joined by 15 other cities in the Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy. The program will run through 2024. Cities selected include:

Duluth, MN

Birmingham, AL

Chattanooga, TN

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Frederick, MD

Jamestown, NY

Kokomo, IN

Lansing, MI

Missoula, MT

Monroe, NC

Newark, NJ

San Antonio, TX

Santa Fe, NM

Saint Louis, MO

Tacoma, WA

Tempe, AZ