MARSHALL (KMHL) – Minnesota State University system Chancellor Dr. Devinder Malhotra was in Marshall yesterday talking about new scholarships for students pursuing high demand careers. The workforce development scholarships are worth $2,500 for students pursuing careers in advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services, information technology, early childhood education or transportation at any of the state colleges in the Minnesota State system.

“The hope is that this will become a catalyst to get students to come to our colleges who otherwise thought college was not possible,” said Malhotra. “Then after they graduate and get into high-paying jobs then they are likely to stay in the community itself.”

He added the scholarship program will continue for students beyond the first two years if that student decides to pursue a 4-year education as well.

“It makes getting a four-year degree also very much a possibility for those who otherwise would not have a chance,” added Malhotra.

That’s the part that has officials at Southwest Minnesota State excited –New SMSU President Kumara Jayasuriya (jie-ah-SUR-ee-ah) says they hope to grow their relationship with the Minnesota West system.

“We have several programs that will fit well with this scholarship,” said Jayasuriya. “Early childhood and all of the ag programs will work well with this scholarship that they’re creating.”

He notes that SMSU and MnWest have already been working together for years on their Blue to Brown program.