Sen. Franken Tackles Skills Gap During MN College Visit


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Minnesota Senator Al Franken toured Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead last week.  The college showcased its programs that pair students with local industry for work-based learning.  Senator Franken acknowledged that what MSCTC and other community colleges are doing to connect student learning with employer needs is working.

The Senator’s visit gave him the opportunity to talk about his proposed legislation called the “Community College to Career Fund Act.” It would create a competitive grant program supporting partnerships between community colleges and local businesses.  This funding opportunity aims to eliminate the skills gap between job candidates and industry needs.

Read more about the Senator’s visit to MSCTC from Agweek.

 

Featured image courtesy Craig Willford through Creative Commons 2.0

Parents Underestimate Potential of These STEM Careers


by Denise Felder~

Employers and educators know that young people with interests and skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are likely to qualify for a wide range of high-paying careers.

For example, a Mechanical Drafter in Minnesota could earn $18 an hour to start. The median wage for Drafters with an Associate’s degree is almost $27 an hour.

Potential students and job seekers, however, often don’t know about the innovative work and high earning potential that manufacturing careers offer. And parents of potential students — who influence what their children study in college — have misconceptions about what it’s really like to work in manufacturing.

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2 Years, 1 Occupation, and a Good Wage in the Northeast


by Eric White~

 

Community colleges have been making headlines recently with President Obama proposing free tuition for responsible students.

Even if that doesn’t happen, students will find that community colleges cost less than 4-year universities. Less credits will be required to graduate with a degree, and still lead to rewarding and well-paying jobs.

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A Shot in the Arm for a Career in Nursing


by Tim O’Neill~

It’s funny how my new job has given me a new perspective on my old job.  Prior to becoming a regional labor market analyst with DEED, I was employed as a surgical support specialist at a Twin Cities hospital.  While I love what I’m doing now, our data show that pursuing a career pathway to nursing would have been an excellent decision!

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Skilled Trades That Allow You to Travel


by Monica Gomez ~

You might think that finding a job that allows you the freedom to travel requires a four-year degree, or even a more advanced education. However, there is good news for those who are interested in working in a hands-on environment. Skilled-trades workers have a number of opportunities to travel for their job. And these jobs often do not require a degree.

Here are just some of the blue-collar jobs that allow you to travel for work.

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Manufacturing Keeps on Truckin' in the Metro


by Tim O’Neill ~

Through 2013, the seven-county Twin Cities metro area had 79,133 establishments supplying 1,618,006 jobs. That’s approximately 60% of total employment in the state in all industries.

The manufacturing industry had 4,105 establishments supplying 162,716 jobs in the Twin Cities, comprising about 53% of the 307,159 manufacturing jobs within the state. The average annual wage for the manufacturing industry sector equaled $69,680 in 2013, 17% higher than the industry’s average annual wage for the state as a whole ($59,540).

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Manufacture a Career in the Southwest (Minnesota, that is)


by Luke Greiner~

When people think of the jobs that can be found in the manufacturing industry, they typically focus on a relatively short list of only production occupations, such as assemblers or welders.

This makes sense, as nearly 60% of all occupations in manufacturing are classified as “production” jobs in Southwest Minnesota. That means that over 40% (or 16,320 manufacturing occupations) are not. Instead, the manufacturing industry offers a diverse and well compensated mix of occupations.

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Manufacturing: The ‘Comeback Kid’ in Central Minnesota


by Luke Greiner ~

After getting knocked down during the recession, the manufacturing sector has added more jobs to Central Minnesota’s economy than any other industry since 2010 by gaining 3,676 additional jobs. This incredible comeback accounts for almost 30% of total job growth in the region in the last three years. Recent growth is also impressive, with more than one in five new jobs being in manufacturing from 2012 to 2013.

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Northwest Minnesota's 'Brain Drain' vs. 'Rural Renewal'


by Chet Bodin~

Much has been made about the loss to a local economy when young people leave a city, county, or region. This so-called “brain drain” is particularly hard for rural areas separated by distance and culture from the state’s major metropolitan areas. This concept is often based solely on the exodus of people from 15 to 29 years of age, who leave their hometowns or adopted homes for educational opportunities or career prospects unavailable or seldom found where they’re from, or to simply broaden their horizons.

What’s lost in that demographic shift is the counteractive in-migration of workers back into rural regions.  In what’s come to be known as “the rural renewal,” research has identified an increase in population cohorts aged 30 to 49 in most rural Minnesota counties, including in Northwest Minnesota.

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