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Colleges receive Circle of Excellence Award for human services leadership

The Professional Workforce and Training division of Anoka-Ramsey Community College and Anoka Technical College, along with their partners, Anoka County Job Training Center and Metro North Adult Basic Education, was recently recognized by the Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson for outstanding contributions to human services clients in Anoka County for their collaboration with FastTRAC Health Care Pathways Program.

 “While we don’t work to receive awards, it is nice to be recognized for the efforts we put in above our normal student outreach and support to provide individuals in our community with the extra tools they need to be successful,” said Laura Cleveland, Professional Workforce and Training Director of Training. 

Recipients of the 2014 Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Awards were recognized at a ceremony at the Elmer L. Andersen Human Services Building in St. Paul, Dec. 15.

Recipients joining the FastTRAC Health Care Pathways Program for 2014 Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Award included: Ain Dah Yung (Our Home) Center, Central Minnesota Mental Health Center, Lake Region Health Care,, PrimeWest Health, Red Lake Alcohol Rehabilitation Prevention Program and Technology for HOME.

Jesson said those acknowledged in the fourth annual Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Awards share the department’s commitment to supporting healthy people, stable families and strong communities.

“The work we do in human services has real, profound impact – it’s a safe place to sleep, the chance for better employment, the ability to remain independent. So what an honor it is to recognize these organizations for being leaders and innovators in this field,” Jesson said. “Together we are helping countless Minnesotans live more dignified and fulfilling lives.”

More about FastTRAC Health Care Pathways Program

FastTRAC Health Care Pathways program is a skills-education and career-specific training program for adults with low incomes in Anoka County.

Partners include Anoka County Job Training Center, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Anoka Technical College and Metro North Adult Basic Education. This unique collaboration uses an innovative approach of integrating basic skills education and career specific training with an emphasis in older adult care services.

The program program is to assist educationally unprepared Minnesota Family Investment Program and Diversionary Work Program recipients and other adults with low incomes in gaining the skills necessary to succeed in a career pathway and obtain a recognized industry credential and college credits.

Trainees earn eight college credits and a nursing assistant credential. During their participation they receive intensive upfront career advising, support services, tuition assistance and ongoing coaching to form a solid foundation for success in postsecondary training and to become employed at the end of training.

For more information about programs by Professional and Workforce Training and the FastTRAC Health Care Pathways Program, visit

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