2017 Technical Training and Certification
Establishing conservation practices on private lands in Minnesota is critical to achieving state and federal goals for clean and sustainable water resources, healthy and sustainable soil resources, and abundant fish and wildlife. Conservation Technical Assistance requires statewide, base technical assistance capabilities, as well as capabilities tailored to local resource concerns and conservation practices in the diverse landscapes of Minnesota. Training and certification of Minnesota's conservation professionals are key quality assurance elements of an effective conservation delivery system. Minnesota's local conservation delivery system faces growing and evolving demands and challenges. The Technical Training and Certification Program, and the strong partnership of agencies supporting it, will connect allies and resources to efficiently provide training and enhance technical skills so Local Government conservation staff can effectively perform their jobs and meet expanding conservation needs.
$6,000,000 the first year and $6,000,000 the second year are for targeted local resource protection and enhancement grants and statewide program enhancements for technical assistance, citizen and community outreach, and training and certification, as well as projects, practices, and programs that supplement or otherwise exceed current state standards for protection, enhancement, and restoration of water quality in lakes, rivers, and streams or that protect groundwater from degradation, including compliance.
Clean Water Funds are used for the development of a Technical Training and Certification Program to maintain a highly trained, technically skilled workforce of natural resource professionals capable of meeting the conservation delivery needs of Minnesota. This is accomplished by: 1) Developing core competency training for all technical staff, 2) Identifying of local priority resource concerns and applicable conservation practices requiring specific technical expertise, 2) Design and implementation of Individual Development Plans to inform an Annual Technical Training Needs Assessment, 3) Annual prioritization of technical trainings needs, 4) Delivery of training and mentoring to meet needs identified in Annual Technical Training Needs Assessment and to increase credentialing, 5) Development of a tracking system for Job Approval Authority credentials, Individual Development Plans, and continuing education.
Technical Trainings to date include:
- Soil Erosion Prediction Tools
- Comprehensive Nutrient Management and Planning
- Basic Surveying
- Soil Mechanics
- Basic Hydrology
- Basic Conservation Planning
- Forest Inventory Basics
Total Students = 584
Total Contact Hours (students x training duration) = 5,594
The Technical Training and Certification Program increased the number and availability of technical trainers and has dedicated staff to developing training curriculum, delivering training, and serving as mentors to accelerate credential acquisition.