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Commerce Secretary Visits MCTC

Secretary and Former CEO John Bryson Joins Mayor Rybak, Representative Ellison and Chancellor Steven Rosenstone in a Discussion with Business Leaders, Educators and Students at Minneapolis Community and Technical College

Commerce Secretary John Bryson at MCTCCommerce Secretary and former CEO John Bryson visited Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC), where he toured the school’s welding, machine tool, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration, and construction and electricity labs, where students are receiving hands-on technical training.

He was accompanied by Mayor R.T. Rybak, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor Steven Rosenstone, faculty and students. The group saw the College’s machine tool and metal fabrication lab and a chalkboard that outlined the companies where alumni are working and their hourly wages.

They also met with MCTC welding student Riley Peterson, and Mayor Rybak tried his hand at the College’s virtual welding machine. After that, they traveled to MCTC’s HVAC-R lab, where they saw the College’s energy-efficient house and new technologies that residential and commercial remodelers are using to make homes and businesses more energy efficient. Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak Welding at MCTC

After the tour, a panel session was held that was attended by several business and community leaders, students and educators. The discussion focused on how the Obama Administration can continue to support successful partnerships between community colleges and businesses to train and place skilled workers. 

The Secretary highlighted President Obama’s plans to strengthen U.S. advanced manufacturing and encourage innovation and workforce development in high-tech fields. He said he knows the chief concern of CEOS is having skilled workers and praised Minnesota for its efforts to innovate and create jobs. “What Minnesota has done for jobs is nothing but a knockout,” he said.

During the panel session, Secretary Bryson praised the State’s Export Assistance Center, the City of Minneapolis Mayor’s office, the State’s community and technical colleges, and businesses for their collaborative efforts to strengthen their communities. He acknowledged the need for more science, technology and engineering graduates and the need to continue to invest in workforce training and development programs and partnerships.

“Identifying colleges like this one can help us build on success, innovate and create jobs,” Bryson said. “We must ensure all Americans receive a quality education and businesses have the infrastructure and employees they need.”