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“Labor Day Project” Helps Employers Rethink Recruitment Efforts

Minnesota’s accelerating talent shortage has created a mismatch in our labor market. Employers are desperate for skilled workers but are struggling to find and retain talent. Why? Why are these well-paying, very-little-debt-incurring career paths going unfilled? Dave Zdon and Dan Nyberg decided to find out for themselves. After learning about the skilled labor shortage while creating LEAN Construction training, and discussing the shortage on Labor Day in 2017, the Labor Day Project was created....

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What About More Experienced Workers in Transition?

“Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree” has focused on young men and women, roughly between their high school years and late 20s.  This emphasis will continue.  But there is no inherent reason why many of the ideas undergirding the project, as well as benefits accruing from it, aren’t also applicable to many older men and women, in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.  I’m thinking mainly of men and women who might be thought of as in “transition,” be reasons voluntary or not. ...

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Uponor wows urban students with plastic pipe manufacturing

Like most manufacturers, the Uponor company in Apple Valley is confronting a skilled labor shortage. In October, the company—which is engaged in plastic pipe manufacturing—tackled this challenge in an exciting experiment that already seems to be paying dividends. As part of its ongoing effort to inform young people about careers in skilled manufacturing, Uponor has routinely opened its doors to students from local schools....

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Efforts to Encourage Young People into Trades Must Continue

Rising interest in skilled technical positions shows efforts to counter the image of manufacturing, construction and similar fields as dirty and dangerous work environments are succeeding. But it is important Minnesota's future plans include further state-wide workforce initiatives to attract and retain the skilled talent our state demands. ...

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Precision Manufacturing’s Precise Challenge

Steve Kalina, a veteran of more than two decades in manufacturing, is the still-new executive director of the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association, having started in August.  He’s also (I’m guessing not incidentally) “a veteran of the United States Marines, with two decorated combat tours and many leadership roles.”  His acute remarks at MPMA’s “ManufacturingNext 2018” conference on workforce issues perfectly reinforced themes Center of the American Experiment continues to focus on in our multiyear project, “Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree.”  ...

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Construction Career Pathways: “Looking for the road to success? Build it yourself.”

Thanks to Construction Career Pathways (CCP) and its partnering programs, Minnesota’s youth can begin exploring successful career opportunities in construction as early as middle school, develop skills through a registered apprenticeship program in high school, and conclude with a rock-solid career in the building trades. [Photo Source: CCP]...

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