Career Services Available Across Southeast Minnesota

Workforce Development, Inc. (WDI) offers a variety of career services and programs designed to help you overcome barriers to achieve meaningful, living-wage employment. Learn more about our available programs in Southeast Minnesota. You can also call or visit the nearest WDI office for more details or to get involved today!

Adult Programs

WDI offers intensive support and training opportunities for eligible adults across the region. If you are interested in going back to school, learning about new career opportunities, or interested in improving your existing skills, Contact your local Workforce Development, Inc. office to learn more!

Career Pathways

At WDI, customers who are interested in getting a job or a career are encouraged to follow the career pathway model. The customer and Career Navigator work together to help the customer narrow down their choices regarding which career path to follow – school? Job? A combination? Career Navigators and customers find either the right educational path to follow or a good fit with a local employer. They also identify what barriers might stand in the way of a customer’s success and, one by one, name them and remove them. For example, a customer may take classes that lead to an industry-recognized certificate. The customer can then decide to continue with more classes to reach the next educational level or seek employment. That option is available all along the career pathway, and always with the goal of getting a career that is in demand and pays a living wage.

While career pathways are important for the individual career seeker, they are important for employers, as well. Career pathways change the role of employers from customers to partners. When employers help to develop the workforce, it increases the number of qualified applicants and number of skilled employees.

Contact your local Workforce Development, Inc. office today to learn more!

Bridges to Careers

Bridges to Careers is one example of a Career Pathway program. This collaborative effort includes area Adult Education Center providers, local Community and Technical Colleges, Workforce Development, Inc., and a variety of employers who are all dedicated to a mission that meets the needs of Southeast Minnesota’s diverse community and the employment market. Through education and career navigation, students within the program are empowered to pursue successful and fulfilling careers in either Healthcare or Administrative Office roles.

The mission of Career Pathway programming is to connect adult learners with the resources, support, and training they need to successfully find fulfilling, well-paying, and in-demand careers that meet the region’s workforce needs.

View Bridges to Healthcare flyer.

View Bridges to Public Sector flyer.

Contact your local Workforce Development, Inc. office today to learn more!

Dislocated Workers

Whether it be due to downsizing, outsourcing, or other events outside of your control, losing your job, through no fault of your own, is one of the most stressful experiences. WDI is here to help. We offer a variety of services to help including training assessments, job search assistance, new-skills training, and more. Whether you’re looking for a job in your field or thinking of changing careers, our trained Career Planners are here to help. Click here to learn more about all of our available programs and resources for dislocated workers.

Family Support Programs

WDI provides services for the Employment and Training component of the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP). These services provide an opportunity for eligible families to receive career planning, job search assistance, access to specialized career services, and support programs such as Diversionary Work and Food Support. We’ll also help you find and secure stable work. We can connect you with other local and free services for any other needs you might have along the way.

Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)

WDI also provides services for the Employment and Training component of the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP). These services offer an opportunity for eligible families to receive career planning, job search assistance, and support services.

We have established employer contacts to help you get a job or find a better job. We can also connect you with the resources you may need along the way to building your career.

Families may also be referred to WDI for help in meeting their public assistance program requirements, with the overall goal being a transition into economic stability.

Youth & Young Adults

WDI offers a variety of services for youth and young adults. Whether you want to enter the workforce or are trying to decide your next move, our trained Career Planners are here to help. We offer services including resume development, career planning, GED preparation, career mentoring, subsidized employment, and more. Click here to learn more about all of the resources available to youth and young adults.

YouthBuild USA

YouthBuild USA is a national program that helps low-income young people, aged 16-24, work toward their GEDs or high school diplomas, learn job skills, and serve their communities by building affordable housing. Our Rochester office partners with the Rochester Alternative Learning Center to teach a Construction Basics class to ALC students. The students earn while they learn and participate in a variety of building/construction projects during the semester-long class.

Subcommittees & Additional Offerings

Employer Outreach

WDI Employer Outreach Specialists (EOS) strengthen the workforce in SE Minnesota by listening to area employers’ needs, educating the local talent pool to fill those needs, and supporting businesses with state and federal funding opportunities to help then optimize their workforce potential. The EOS team is comprised of Career Planners and staff from each of the ten counties across the WDI service area. The principle focus of this team is to connect with employers of all types and sizes and to be the primary contact and resource for employers to the myriad of resources that WDI and the state of Minnesota has to offer. The team also relays any feedback from the business community regarding the current business climate back to state and workforce partners, to ensure decision makers stay informed on what challenges local businesses are facing. All of these services are offered at no cost to the employer.

WDI Employer Outreach Specialists (EOS) Team

Dodge County // Desirae Dyke,, 507.634.7381

Fillmore & Houston Counties // Dee Slinde,, 507.951.7092

Freeborn County // Valerie Kvale,, 507.402.7294

Goodhue County // Cyndi Reese,, 651.764.1583

Mower County // Mike Postma,, 507.433.0685

Olmsted County // Erica Rice,, 507.252.6529

Rice & Steele Counties // Kim Purscell,, 507.431.3903

Wabasha County // Kortney Wobbe,, 651.565.2635


MaxAbility is a taskforce dedicated to growing competitive employment opportunities for people with disabilities. It facilitates collaboration among local employers, job placement professionals, nonprofit professionals, and educators to grow opportunities for people with disabilities. Collaborators meet regularly to learn and partner with each other. An annual job and resource fair is also held so applicants can connect directly with employers and other stakeholders to learn about employment opportunities.

Contact us today to learn how your business or organization can get involved. Subscribe to our mailing list to be in-the-know about upcoming events and opportunities!

Salute Southern Minnesota Veterans Network

Emerging Workforce

Career Pathways


WDI also coordinates and funds scholarships for youth and adults to participate in industry-specific programs at approved educational institutions. You must be between 18 and 21 years old to apply for a youth scholarship, and 21 years old or older to apply for an adult scholarship. A WDI professional will help you develop an educational plan, obtain recommendations, and complete the application. Call us today or stop by a local WDI office to learn more about these opportunities.

Looking for support and resources?

National Resources
State Resources
SE MN Local Resources

Meet Your Personal Career Planner Today!

Our professional Career Planners are ready to help you on your employment path with support, training, and special career services all designed to ensure your success. We have multiple offices in Rochester and across Southeast Minnesota. Contact us to meet your Career Planner today!



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