Gov. Walz Talks Apprenticeships with Labor Leaders in Duluth

The Apprenticeship Summit represented trade jobs in Minnesota.

DULUTH, Minn.- Some state leaders believe the “learn as you go” technique may be the best way to encourage young professionals to pursue trade careers, many represented at an apprenticeship summit in Duluth Friday.

An apprenticeship is a way to train and study while you work and there are a record number of openings for them in Minnesota.

Governor Tim Walz thinks talking about them is the only way to get rid of the stigma that trade jobs are just a backup option for young people.

Walz said the older generation is dying and young people need to fill their place, but it’s up to workers to teach them about the trade jobs available if they don’t get a 4–year degree after high school.

“I think, more than ever, I’ve said it starts with parents to understand that there is a pathway for your children to get into apprenticeship programs into the trades, especially construction trades. They make up the big bulk of what we need,” Gov. Walz said.

Construction. healthcare and plumbing were among the trades represented at the summit with apprenticeships of their own.

Plumbers and Pipefitters of Duluth believe trade jobs are the core of a community.

“We need to reinvest in the industrial arts programs in schools and really focus on apprenticeship programs which do build our communities. You can’t just do that on a computer,” Plumber and Pipefitters of Duluth training director Jeff Brown said.

Minnesota’s apprenticeship program has been around for 80 years.

Summit leaders believe it’s sticking around because the skills people learn in trade jobs don’t die out.

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