Will Minnesota’s worker shortage be eased by apprenticeships?

19 Apr 2018

With Minnesota facing a projected shortage of 400,000 workers by 2024, state officials, industry advocates and employers attending the state’s first Apprenticeship Summit touted the benefits of “earn while you learn” programs to develop the next generation of skilled employees.

The most compelling case for Apprenticeship Minnesota — the state Department of Labor and Industry’s registered apprenticeship program — may have come from participants themselves. A handful of active apprentices drew a standing ovation from the 450 people who crowded into the summit last week at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center.

“I do what I love to do at work and they pay me for it and they give me great benefits,” said Dionte Henley, a first-year apprentice with the Sheet Metal Workers Local 10 who works at Maplewood-based MG McGrath Architectural Surfaces.

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