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Wed Nov 20, 2019, 05:33 AM

How the Legislature is trying to get young Minnesotans into high-demand jobs

In Minnesota’s tight labor market, some industries have struggled more than others to fill open jobs. So it’s been a longstanding goal of politicians, business and education leaders to steer people into high-demand work that typically doesn’t require a four-year degree.

To help that effort, the Legislature this year expanded two pilot projects aimed at drawing high school and college students into fields starving for workers. One, known as the Youth Skills Training program, connects high school students with companies that offer paid internships in sectors like manufacturing and health care. Another offers scholarships to students in the Minnesota State system who pursue roles in fields such as manufacturing, agriculture, health care, IT and child care.

Sen. Paul Anderson, a Republican from Plymouth who chairs the Senate’s Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee, sponsored measures to create the programs, and he said they help correct what he sees as an overemphasis on four-year degrees in high schools. “Two generations later, we’re seeing the effects of that, where a lot of skilled labor and skilled trades are really falling short and we don’t have the pipeline we want to get,” Anderson said.

Youth skills program

The Youth Skills Training program was created as a two-year trial by the Legislature in 2017. The Department of Labor and Industry was tasked with handing out $1 million for 10 grants to programs run by partnerships of businesses, high schools, nonprofits and local governments.

Read more: https://www.minnpost.com/good-jobs/2019/11/how-the-legislature-is-trying-to-get-young-minnesotans-into-high-demand-jobs/

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