Minn. Lawmakers Consider Solution for College Debt and Unemployment

Updated: 01/01/2014 10:31 PM
Created: 01/01/2014 8:12 PM
By: Nick Winkler

Buhler Group, a Plymouth-based manufacturer of grain processing equipment, started an apprentice program after not being able to find enough skilled workers.

Buhler pays the classroom tuition and the apprentices in the program. The six apprentices split time between the shop floor and classroom for three years.

In return, Buhler says it develops a skilled workforce that provides better customer service.

The program is catching the attention of lawmakers who will consider ways to replicate the program elsewhere during the next legislative session.

Ideas under consideration include, negotiating lower tuition rates to make apprentice programs more attractive to employers or even providing some seed money for companies interested in the model.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

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