Sen. Franken Tours Denfeld Techology Department

Senator Addressed Concerns About High-Tech Education

DULUTH, Minn. – U.S. Senator Al Franken toured the Duluth Denfeld High School’s technology department Tuesday, to see how students here are learning to fill tomorrow’s high tech jobs.

The was part of the Senator’s “Advancing Career Pathways Tour” across Minnesota.  America is facing a shortage of high-tech workers, something Sen. Franken wants to see addressed.

“We have skills gaps in this country that need to be filled,” said Franken.  “And they need to be filled in careers that involve science, technology, engineering, and math, STEM skills.”

According to the Senator, America needs more kids to pursue careers in science, engineering and manufacturing to keep the country competitive on a global scale.
“We can compete by training a workforce that does those high–skilled jobs,” said Franken.  “We have a lot of advantages in the United States.  One of the things we need to do is train the workforce for the 21st century.”

The Fabrication Lab at Denfeld teaches kids skills needed for high-tech jobs.

“Kids can do things they want to do and have the opportunity to get out there rather than just thinking they’re not going anywhere in life,” said Denfeld senior Matthew Johnston.

After his tour, Senator Franken sat down for a round–table discussion with educators and students.

“I would have never thought of going to college or going anywhere in life,” said Johnston.  “So many opportunities have opened up for me through these classes.”

The Senator came away impressed with Denfeld’s facilities, though he did have one small concern.

“I don’t worry about these kids,” said Franken.  “I worry about them making these self–replicating robots with artficial intelligence who will take over the world.  That’s what I worry about.”

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