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State Initiatives Work to Eliminate Lingering Stigma of “Vocational” Education

The push for all high school graduates to earn a four-year baccalaureate degree over other post-secondary pathways has resulted in employers struggling to find workers with in-demand technical skills. Vocational education—now more commonly referred to as career and technical education (CTE)—has an image problem, and students (and parents) are skeptical about the workforce value of a two-year degree or credential. But efforts are underway to change public perceptions about these programs and eliminate the lingering stigma that middle-skills jobs are second-class options....

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Does Our National Conversation about College Debt Adequately Take Interest into Account?

Question.  When it’s written or said that a person has taken out, say, $30,000 in student loans, is it usually assumed that $30,000 is the total to be paid back, with interest already factored in?  Or is interest generally not yet accounted for, meaning the borrower is on the hook for measurably more than $30,000?  I may be wrong, but after reading a lot about student loans for Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree, my sense is that most references to student loan debt ignore the reality of interest, thus underplaying how difficult paying back loans may be. ...

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Community and Technical Colleges Tweak Programs to Meet Labor Demand

How do community and technical colleges decide what programs to offer to meet the labor market’s needs most effectively? Two college presidents recently offered their insights in MinnPost. Rich Wagner, Dunwoody College of Technology president, and Rassoul Dastmozd, St. Paul College president, both say that their institutions have strong connections with public schools, employers, and community partners. But they also watch the labor market closely themselves and tweak their programs to prepare students for the jobs of the future....

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Teens Show Interest in Trade School, and That’s Okay

Raelee Nicholson is a top student in Charleroi Area High School south of Pittsburgh. She recently scored in the 88th percentile on her college board exams. But Raelee wants to be a diesel mechanic, and plans on starting a two-year technical college degree after high school, despite discouragement from her parents, teachers and school guidance counselor....

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Minnesota’s Copper and Nickel Deposits are World Class

Minnesota has a long history of mining iron ore, which continues to this day. In fact, nearly 75 percent of the iron ore produced in the United States is mined in Minnesota. However, many people may not be aware of the fact that Minnesota has some of the largest undeveloped copper and nickel deposits in the world. These massive deposits hold an estimated 4 billion tons of copper, nickel, and other precious minerals. These minerals are valued at more than $40 billion, according to Antofagasta PLC, a Chilean mining company that is seeking to develop these deposits. Developing these resources will create...

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Middle School Experiential Learning Program Exposes Students to Different Career Field Every Month

Metier is an experiential learning program that teaches students in grades 5 through 8 to build a life and career around “flow,” defined as the happiest state wherein you feel and perform your best. It achieves significant impact by bringing in community, colleges, organizations, and individuals to share education and career paths so students can sample 15 career fields over two years....

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Minnesota Apprenticeship Summit: “Build Your Workforce Through Apprenticeship”

As apprenticeship expansion continues to unfold across the country, it is important Minnesotans are aware and informed of apprenticeship opportunities here in the state. Apprenticeship Minnesota, part of the state's Department of Labor and Industry, is hosting a free, one-day apprenticeship summit on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota....

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