Friends of Saint Paul College was awarded a grant of $150,000 in September 2015 to improve pathways to construction careers in partnership with the Minnesota Building Trades Council, Associated General Contractors of Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Minneapolis Community and Technical College and other job training institutions.
The project will improve pathways to construction careers for the Twin Cities’ region by building industry sector capacity to develop a more diverse workforce for the seven-county Twin Cities’ region, and enhancing the College’s existing trade career readiness program called Trading Up. Trading Up is a three-year project to develop customized training paths for individuals seeking a career in the construction industry, who are low-income, people of color, veterans, and/or women.
According to a 2014-2015 construction industry assessment conducted by Associated General Contractors of Minnesota that surveyed industry stakeholders, 92% of respondents reported that the availability of a skilled construction workforce is negatively influencing business conditions. Saint Paul College’s industry business partners are committed to hiring Minnesota’s workforce to meet the growing demand. Several large-scale construction projects need qualified apprentices such as the Vikings stadium, various light rail expansion projects, Mayo Clinic expansion, Mall of America expansion and St. Croix Bridge project among others.
To address these workforce needs, Saint Paul College will develop and launch the Twin Cities’ Regional Workforce Investment System using a construction industry stakeholder workgroup, consisting of executive-level leaders of industry employers, unions and training institutions. The workgroup will design and implement a coordinated approach to match employer demand for a diverse skilled workforce with worker supply through job training programs and unions.
“We greatly appreciate this important investment from The McKnight Foundation, which will strengthen construction career pathway for the Twin Cities’ region,” said Rassoul Dastmozd, President of Saint Paul College.