Accelerating economy creates demand for skilled workers

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Those stadiums, highways, light rail stations and mall and factory expansions won't build themselves.

Skilled workers in Minnesota's manufacturing, construction and industrial sectors are in high demand as the recession ends, and the Star Tribune reports that technical colleges, training programs and union apprenticeship programs are hustling to train the next generation of employees to keep up with the demand.

The story notes that analysts worry there might not be the 20,000 workers needed to handle the $1.7 billion in building projects that are scheduled to get off the drawing board. Some Minnesota companies already report trouble filling jobs at factories and technical firms.

The newspaper reports that the legislature approved $850,000 to create 250 internships for high school students and committed $8.4 million for the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership for job.

Now the pipeline for training is gearing up. On-the-job internships and recalibrated curriculums are attracting students from Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis to South Central College in Faribault or North Mankato. Anoka Technical College created a sheet-metal training program. Last year, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and its business partners helped train 122,000 employees. Good paying jobs are almost guaranteed for graduates.

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