The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is accepting proposals for six competitive grant programs designed to increase economic opportunities for people of color, women, youth, people with disabilities and veterans.

The six new programs are part of $35 million in funds approved by the Minnesota Legislature and signed into law by Gov.  Mark Dayton in June.

DEED officials noted that the goal of the funding is “to address economic disparities and to make Minnesota a state where the economy works for everyone.” Interested organizations will be able to submit proposals for one of six programs noted below.

All grant proposals are due by Sept. 30 at  4:30 p.m. Requests will only be accepted if posted on DEED’s website at

Grants pertain to one of the following programs:

1. Pathways to Prosperity Program - helps low-wage and low-skill adults with multiple barriers to employment obtain credentials to  prepare them for jobs in health care, manufacturing and other growing fields.

2. Youth at Work Program - provides employment and training for youth of color, youth with disabilities and at-risk youth.

3. Women in High Wage, High Demand, Nontraditional Jobs Competitive Grant Program - focuses on closing the gender pay gap and encourages women to enter nontraditional fields such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) or construction.

4. Southeast Asian Economic Relief Competitive Grant Program  - will address economic disparities in the Southeast Asian communities through workforce recruitment and development, job creation, increased capacity of smaller organizations and outreach.

5. Support Services Competitive Grant Program - will focus on low-income communities, young adults from low-income families and communities of color, offering job training, employment preparation, internships, job assistance to fathers, financial literacy, academic and behavioral intervention for low-performing students and youth intervention.

6. Somali Youth Competitive Grant Program - Funding will support organizations and workforce programs that serve Somali youth.

Informational webinars on how to complete grant proposals  or "requests for proposals" (RFPs)  for each of the six programs will be held Sept. 6 and 7. To participate go to

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