Minn. Lawmakers Consider Apprenticeship Program to Boost Economy

Updated: 03/10/2014 10:22 PM
Created: 03/10/2014 7:19 PM
By: Nick Winkler

State Senator Terri Bonoff, a DFL lawmaker from Minnetonka, is proposing a state supported apprenticeship program based on a model that has been successful in Europe for more than a century.

Right now, a skills gap exists. College graduates, in many cases, are not equipped with the skills most in demand.

Bonoff's bill would provide $300,000 to create standards and an educational program in three critical industries: information technology, healthcare services, and precision manufacturing.

Those industries would partner with the University of Minnesota or MNSCU and with the state's Department of Economic Development or the Department of Labor and Industry.

After the groups develop an educational plan, a pilot project would begin in which students are paired with businesses.

The goal is to provide students with the skills they need to find high paying jobs and avoid massive college debt. It could also supply businesses with the skilled labor currently lacking.

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