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Industry Spotlights

Read news about careers, education, and trends in critical Minnesota industries.


Luther Automotive takes a full throttle approach to workforce development
When the Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence was in its formative years, Luther Automotive was quick to see how partnering with Minnesota State could help ensure a highly skilled workforce. Their new Tech Trac scholarship program has taken the benefits of their involvement to a whole new level.

Inter-College Collaboration: How a $7 million ATE grant was won
There's widespread agreement that autonomous technologies are going to revolutionize the way people live, work, travel, and learn. The question is who's going to train and educate a workforce that can develop, manufacture and operate those technological breakthroughs?

Many of the answers will come from a new ATE National Center for Autonomous Technology (NCAT) in Fergus Falls.

NITRO X: This is not your parent's summer camp — or is it?
In the last 30 years, many parents have become convinced that diplomas and degrees from technical colleges won’t prepare their children for "good" careers. The airline pilots and master auto technicians who took advantage of Minnesota State programs and went on to earn more than $100,000 per year would like to disagree.

See how Nitro X camps are getting middle school students — and their parents — excited about careers in transportation.

Read more Transportation news in the 3rd Quarter Center of Excellence newsletter.


A Unique Industry/Education Collaboration
On May 17, 2019 four African-American students graduated from Dakota County Technical College’s accredited Electrical Lineworker program.

That might not sound remarkable, until you consider that these young men were the first people of color ever to graduate from the line worker program at DCTC.

E3 WORKSHOPS: Why Educating Energy Educators Matters
Are Minnesota teachers aware of the opportunities available to their students in Minnesota’s clean energy industry? Do they have the tools and resources to get kids excited about preparing themselves for careers in energy?

The ones who've attended Minnesota State Energy Center of Excellence’s E3 Workshops do.

ENERGY SCIENCE TRAILERS: Unleashing Creative Energy
How does industry get students interested in energy careers? How do teachers get students interested in energy science? The Minnesota State Energy Center of Excellence had a plan: Energy Science Trailers delivering experiential learning in a mobile classroom. Turns out that was a pretty good idea.

The Power of Minnesota Documentary
First screened in August of 2018, The Power of Minnesota, a documentary that’s sparked enormous interest and community engagement around clean energy in Minnesota, is now available for online viewing.

Read more Energy news in the 2nd Quarter Center of Excellence newsletter.


Using Virtual Reality to Showcase the NEW Reality of Ag Careers
"With twice as many job openings in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) as qualified grads, we have to be creative in finding ways to open people’s eyes about agriculture," says Keith Olander, Director of the Minnesota State Northern Agriculture Center of Excellence.


Growing Interest in Agriculture Education: A CASE study
Brad Schloesser, Director of the Minnesota State Southern Agriculture Center of Excellence, was instrumental in the introduction of a national Curriculum for Agriculture Science Education (CASE) that's helping high schools across Minnesota and the nation to launch and reenergize Agri-Science programs.


How Technology Is Changing the Way Minnesota Farms
Silicon Valley may be the obvious destination for people who want to work in tech — but the Minnesota and Red River Valleys offer great opportunities for people with STEM skills.