Educating and inspiring a talented workforce
BTD is committed to developing a manufacturing-minded workforce of the future. Coupling a desire to cultivate interest in manufacturing from a young age; along with furthering the education of our existing employees—BTD is invested in the talent needed to drive the manufacturing industry forward.
Through partnerships with local schools, BTD has donated both time and money to develop programs that engage our youth to explore careers in manufacturing. Leveraging school-to-work programs, STEM based clubs, and career internships—BTD has developed a pipeline of students who are curious about careers in the ever-evolving manufacturing industry. Whether it is supporting a 3D printer for a Middle School Interactive Media Center or sending BTD employees into high school shops to help design products—BTD is committed to getting students connected to the prospect of manufacturing careers.
During 2019, BTD was proud to support the Farmington Rouge Robotics Club. This group of student engineers created a powered wheelchair for a child in-need. Their amazing story was featured at the White House for the “Be Best” children’s initiative hosted by the First Lady Melania Trump. Inspirational projects like these prove the pipeline of young engineers is full and the future is bright.
In addition to the investments made in future BTD employees, BTD is committed to elevating the careers of our current employees. BTD has been chosen as 1 of 31 recipients of dual training grant funds from the Minnesota Private Investment, Public Education, Labor and Industry Experience Program, or PIPELINE. The grant will support BTD employees to improve skills and advance their careers. The grants combine a classroom-style curriculum with hands-on learning that gives employees the opportunities to become trained and certified with skills that would otherwise take months to achieve. The best part is, they get to earn while they learn. Program to date, 32 employees from both of BTD’s MN plants have taken advantage of the training. This program is a great accompaniment to our existing employee enrichment initiatives.
Rogue Robotics at the White House
BTD Receives Dual Training Grant
We’re excited to announce that BTD has received dual training grant funds from the Minnesota Private Investment, Public Education, Labor and Industry Experience Program, or PIPELINE. The grant will support us in helping our employees improve their skills and advance their careers.
Dual training combines a classroom-style curriculum with hands-on learning that gives our
employees the opportunities to become trained and certified with skills that would otherwise take months to achieve. The best part is, they get to earn while they learn. Employees can advance their careers in a variety of areas such as CNC, welding and quality control. The state awards dual training funds to businesses with in-demand, high-growth occupations, including advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services and information technology. We are just one of 31 manufacturers being awarded.
We became a dual training employer in October 2019, launching training programs at our
Detroit Lakes and Lakeville, Minnesota locations. Since then we’ve had 16 welders participate and earn their certificate through the American Welder Society. Once they completed the program, those individuals were able to put their new skills to work right away. The program is a great accompaniment to our existing employee enrichment initiatives and programs, including BTD University, our online learning portal and Tooling U-SME, a web-based learning resource. These tools are geared specifically to metal fabrication and are a convenient way for operators to develop their skills on specific equipment regardless of the time of day or location.
We’re excited to be able to offer all these opportunities that not only help our employees grow, but also allow us to continue to provide high-quality products to our customers.
Read more about the grant here.
BTD is a subsidiary of Otter Tail Corporation. To learn more about Otter Tail Corporation visit ottertail.com.