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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

​​​​​​​​Trading Up​ 2.0

Trading Up 2.0 is a training program at Saint Paul College that provides trainees with a career pathway into skilled building and construction trades. The trade industries offer family-sustaining wages and have a shortage of workers; completing Trading Up 2.0 can put you in demand!

Trading Up 2.0 trainees will gain hands-on experience in a variety of skilled trades, as well as the knowledge and preparation to maintain and grow a career​. Available trades include carpentry, electrical, plumbing, pipefitters, bricklayers, tile setters, sheet metal workers, heat and frost insulators, equipment/machine operators, ironworkers, painters, glaziers, and roofers.

The goal of Trading Up 2.0 is to launch trainees into a successful career in the building trades. A successful outcome after graduation includes placement in an apprenticeship, trade union, trade employer or continuing post-secondary education. To make sure each trainee finds the trade that best suits his or her abilities and interests, Trading Up 2.0 trainees will receive individualized assessment and guidance counseling from a career navigator.

Trading Up 2.0 Program Courses

The following training courses are available to trainees. Given the highly individualized nature of the program, not every trainee will take every course.

Required Courses:

  • Introduction to Apprenticeships & Unions
  • OSHA 10
  • CPR & First Aid
  • Financial Benefits & Challenges of Trades Work
  • Diversity Awareness for Construction Workers
  • Introduction to Construction Drawing
  • Operation of Process Tools
  • Communication Skills in the Construction Industry ​
  • ​​​Hands-on Training: Rotation of Trades (off site)

Optional Courses:

  • Basic Math for Construction Trades
  • Introduction to Hand Tools
  • Introduction to Power Tools
  • Individual Tutoring (math, reading, writing)
  • Union Test Preparation & Registration
Application Process

Applicants to the Trading Up 2.0 program must:

  • Be at least 18 years old,
  • Have a high school diploma or GED,
  • Have an interest in pursuing a career in the trades, and
  • Currently receiving public assistance in the state of Minnesota, or have a household income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level:

    Income Requirements by Household Size (or Less)

    1. $24,280
    2. $32,920
    3. $41,560
    4. $50,200
    5. $58,840
    6. $67,480
    7. $76,120
    8. $84,760

Please review the application for a list of financial documentation required of each applicant.

Trading Up 2.0 Program Funding

​The Trading Up 2.0 skilled trades training program in St. Paul has been funded through a grant from Thrivent Financial Foundation to expand the pilot project funded by the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP) and includes partnerships with the Saint Paul Building & Construction Trades Council, Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Workforce Solutions (Ramsey County), Helmets to Hardhats and Washington County Workforce Center. Participating businesses include South Saint Paul Steele, Graco, Inc., Evergreen Electric, Collins Electrical Construction Company, Hunt Electric Corporation, Muska Electric Company, Muska Plumbing LLC, Harris Mechanical, McGough, Corval Group, Swanson & Youngdale, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council #82, Nasseff Mechanical, Total Construction, Medina Electrical, CBI, Pioneer Power, Rainbow, Scheck Mechanical and Mechanical Operations, and others.

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