MN Retain logo

MN RETAIN leaders, Nancy Omondi, Director of Adult Programs, Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and Dr. Laura Breeher, Occupational Medicine Specialist, Mayo Clinic, provided program overview and performance update to meeting attendees.

The GWDB provided a letter of support required for RETAIN application for funding through the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration Office of Grants Management.

As of December 12, 2022, a total of 645 ill/injured workers have participated in the program from various industries including healthcare, manufacturing, education, retail/wholesale trade, transportation, real estate, finance, among others. Twenty percent (20%) of those served identify as Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color (BIPOC). Majority of those served fall within the ages of 30 to 60 years old from a wide range of education levels. MN RETAIN services have been provided to individuals in 57 or 66% of Minnesota’s 87 counties. MN RETAIN considers employment to be a key social determinant of health and a screening criterion in healthcare systems for potential participants. A total of 177 individuals have been referred for training and/or career services and financial support services provided as needed. Outreach to employers and community partners are ongoing but a key challenge continues to be employer engagement. MN RETAIN leaders, asked the audience to help spread the word about the program and contact them to discuss addition strategies to network, outreach and engage potential partners, participants, and ideas to broaden services throughout the State of Minnesota.

The in-person meeting was the GWDB and MAWB Annual Winter Meeting and attendees also included employers and some local elected officials that serve on the local workforce boards across MN. The meeting was held from 10am-2:30pm in Maple Grove, Minnesota.


The Governor’s Workforce Development Board (GWDB) works to strengthen the skills of Minnesota’s greatest asset — its workforce and has a responsibility to advise the Governor on Minnesota’s workforce system. The Board represents key leaders from business, education, labor, community-based organizations, and government. Find more details at

The Minnesota Association of Workforce Boards was incorporated in 1994 and represents the interests of workforce councils and local elected officials in Minnesota. It is the mission of the Minnesota Association of Workforce Boards to provide Minnesota with a skilled and competitive workforce through engaged and proactive local elected officials, workforce boards, and staff. Find more details at