SMTA, a leading advocate for workforce development and education supporting the electronics manufacturing community, is proud to announce the official launch of the SMTA Minnesota Workforce Development Collaborative, an ambitious initiative aimed at empowering the region’s workforce and promoting economic growth.

The SMTA Workforce Development Collaborative is a strategic alliance between SMTA, local businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies. Its mission is to bridge the gap between workforce and industry needs to collaboratively work to harness the power of partnership to address local employment challenges and create a robust, sustainable, workforce development ecosystem.

The SMTA Workforce Development Collaborative will focus on several key areas, including:

  • Education and Training: Developing accessible training programs and resources to equip local talent with the skills needed to excel in electronics manufacturing.
  • Employer Engagement: Facilitating dialogues between with regional employers and other stakeholders to ensure alignment between industry needs and employee skills.
  • Job Placement Services: Creating pathways for local jobseekers to access quality employment opportunities, ultimately reducing unemployment and underemployment rates.
  • Career Development: Promoting lifelong learning and professional development to empower individuals with a pathway to career advancement within the electronics manufacturing industry.

Tara Dunn, Director of Training and Education with SMTA, shared her excitement about the collaborative’s launch, stating, “The SMTA MN Workforce Development Collaborative is a testament to the power of community and collaboration. We believe that by pooling resources and expertise, we can make a significant impact addressing the region’s workforce challenges head-on. By creating a seamless connection between education and industry, we aim to empower individuals and bolster local businesses, ultimately driving economic growth.”

Professor Rob Sleezer from the Department of Integrated Engineering at Minnesota State University, Mankato adds “The connection of the SMTA MN Workforce Development Collaborative to authentic industry-sponsored project-based learning naturally aligns with the philosophy of MinnPoly, the first and only polytechnic in Minnesota. This collaboration has the potential to bring high quality educational opportunities ranging from certificates and technical training through baccalaureate and graduate degrees for learners across many disciplines. We look forward to supporting the current and future SMT workforce needs of the state, nation, and world through this partnership.”

For more information about the SMTA Minnesota Workforce Development Collaborative, or to learn more about other regional collaboratives, please visit or contact Tara Dunn,

SMTA – A Global Association Working at a Local Level
The SMTA membership is an international network of professionals who build skills, share practical experience and develop solutions in electronic assembly technologies, including microsystems, emerging technologies, and related business operations.