Much has been written about our state’s looming talent shortage – it’s a perfect storm. The baby boom generation is retiring, employers need work done that requires new skills, and we’re in an economic boom time, with talent needed to feed growth. A May 13 Pioneer Press editorial noted that Minnesota is about 60,000 workers short today and will only worsen as we inch towards an aging workforce. Local businesses and companies are in dire need of workers.
The solution: local community and technical colleges are skilled worker machines. Recently, Saint Paul College alone, with 63% non-white students, produced 1,500 graduates and nearly half will enter the workforce, fully prepared to hit the ground running, while the other half will transfer to four-year colleges and universities to further prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.
Saint Paul College works with dozens of employers regularly to fill the employment gap, such as Mo-Tech Corporation, Mold Craft, Wilson Tool International, Fairview Health Services, Allina Health, McGough Construction, HealthPartners, and 3M, just to name a few. Leaders from business, finance, hospitality, IT, manufacturing, construction, healthcare, and transportation industries sit on the College’s program advisory boards and share first-hand what equipment is needed for students to train on and what skills are necessary from graduates. Faculty and academic leaders are in constant communication with business and industry representatives, as these external customers provide guidance and lead various programmatic alignments at the College. In addition to offering their advice and counsel, some employers donate equipment and offer our students internships, apprenticeships, coaching and mentorships, and generously fund scholarships.
The result: Saint Paul College graduates land viable, relevant and rewarding jobs, and employer partners remain competitive and have the talent they need to grow. They know they are not only hiring skilled workers, but they are hiring our state’s future. At Saint Paul College we are proud of our role in solving the state’s workforce issues. We welcome all employers to the table who wish to take an active role in developing their talent pipeline and that of the state’s.
This article originally appeared in our College Magazine - Fall 2018. Download a free copy to read more stories like this one.
“ I have supported Saint Paul College over the years because I believe in the quality education that they are providing the Electrical students. These students eventually will be the future leaders of our industry for years to come.”
–Curt Southward, Senior Vice President, Hunt Electric