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Automation Robotics Reverse Career Fair draws employers, highlights the need for apprenticeships in the Manufacturing industry

reverse career fair

Eden Prairie, March 7, 2024

Students and employers gathered for the annual Automation Robotics Engineering Reverse Career Fair. The Reverse Career Fair is a chance for students to showcase their robotics designs and machinery they designed in class to potential employers. The career fair is an opportunity for students demonstrate their skills as an alternative to the traditional interview for internships and paid positions.

Kyle Huggar, Career Experience Coordinator at Hennepin Tech, spoke about the benefits of an interview where students take the spotlight, “These sorts of interviews are better for the students. When you’re able to speak on what you’re passionate about, the experience is way different. When a student can show what they can do, it really means a lot to both the student and the potential employer.”

The Hennepin Tech Automation Robotics program also works with employers to build apprenticeship opportunities for their employees. The Bühler Apprenticeship Academy trains students in the Mechatronics and Business areas. Certified by the Industry Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (ICATT), apprentices earn an associate degree from Hennepin Tech while gaining valuable experience working at Bühler.

Sascha Kuhn, Deputy Director of Apprenticeships at Bühler reflected on the need for skilled manufacturing employees and why sponsoring apprenticeships is vital for building the workforce, “Five years ago, we had an issue with skills gap. The workforce didn’t have the skills the manufacturing industry needed. With apprenticeships, besides the benefit that they earn skills needed by the industry, we increase retention by offering certifications, relevant on the job training, and a guaranteed job. Bühler is so far happy and they would hire more if they could!”

Gage Knutson, an apprentice at Bühler, is in his final semester. When asked what it was like to be an apprentice, Gage said, “First, you get hired. Then you come to classes at Hennepin Tech. We’re on campus two days a week and the other days, we’re at our company learning.” After three years with Bühler, Gage and his fellow apprentices will graduate from Hennepin Tech with one certificate and two associate’s degrees, one in Automation Robotics and one in Mechatronics. They will also gain several workforce certifications that can be applied generally to the field of Automation Robotics.

Students in the apprenticeship program at Bühler are paid as an employee while earning an associate degree without school debt. This program is exclusive to Hennepin Tech. Automation Robotics and Mechatronics is considered a high-demand, high-placement career field with reported beginning salaries of $60,000-$70,000 annually.

About Hennepin Technical College

Founded in 1972, Hennepin Technical College is the largest stand-alone technical college in Minnesota. With campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie, the college offers degree and non-degree courses in over 40 programs in the skilled trades and high-demand career fields. Achieving a high job placement rate, Hennepin Tech prepares students for high-paying employment opportunities.


Last updated by mdibba : 2024-03-11 02:05:02