Hennepin Technical College continues to lead the way in developing innovative programs with industry, community and economic development partners that help maintain Minnesota’s global economic competitiveness by closing the skills gap.

The strength of HTC’s workforce development programs such an M-POWERED and MAAC are their strong partnerships with business and industry.  These partnerships ensure that students achieve the advanced skills they need to secure employment and begin a lifelong career in advanced precision manufacturing.

Erik Ajax, co-owner of E.J. Ajax and Sons, in Fridley, MN, is one employer who has benefitted from HTC’s workforce development programs, and has hired many of the program’s graduates. Mr. Ajax was recently the guest of Senator Al Franken at the State of the Union Address in Washington, D.C. He continues to champion the economic value and necessity of programs in this model to his colleagues in the precision manufacturing community nationally.

“I know Erick Ajax, my guest for the State of the Union, shares my concern about the skills gap.” Said Senator Franken. “And we both know that workforce development accomplishes so many things—it creates jobs, it makes the U.S. more competitive globally, and it helps address college affordability.”

HTC’s programs not only deliver results for Minnesota’s manufacturing community and the unemployed looking for new career opportunities, but have also been cited as successful models for other states interested in closing the manufacturing skills gap. Senator Al Franken, in his video response to the 2014 State of the Union Address, cites workforce development programs as being an important tool in closing the skills gap and has recently co-authored legislation to provide critical support to these programs.

“I’m very pleased that the President highlighted job training in his speech,” said Sen. Franken. “There are more than three million jobs in this country that could be filled today if workers had the right skills, and with too many people still unemployed, we have to find a way to train Minnesota workers and fill these open, high-skilled jobs.

U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) issued the following video statement in response to President Obama's 2014 State of the Union address, in which he talks about how HTC’s workforce development program is closing the skills gap.

You can download HD video of Sen. Franken’s response here and SD video here

Last updated by jlaabs : 2015-05-27 08:27:49