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Russian Scientists and Engineers Visit MCTC

Russian scientists and engineers visit MCTC to learn about workforce development programs

Russian scientists and engineersA delegation of Russian scientists and engineers visited Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) April 30 to learn about how the College and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system develop strategic partnerships and a coordinated response to workforce and economic development issues. 

Under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership program, the visit also was designed to show how community and technical colleges provide access to higher education and prepare future workers to have the skills needed in a 21st century global economy.

The delegation heard from Mike Christenson, MCTC’s associate vice president of workforce development, about how the College had developed successful job training programs in partnership with large health care organizations that were particularly aimed at residents of the nearby Phillips neighborhood. Between 2000 and 2008, the Phillips neighborhood led the city in job growth, he said.  The group toured the College’s machine tooling program and its heating, ventilation and air conditioning program.

Dmitry Dvoretskiy, head of the department of food technologies at Tambov State Technical University in Tambov, Russia, said, “You have a very interesting approach to education here. I am impressed with the amount of equipment that the College has and students can use, and you have labs here on campus, which is helpful.”

Phillip Davis, MCTC’s president, said of the visit, “It’s as much of an opportunity for us to learn from our Russian colleagues as it is for them to learn from us. We’re also proud to be able to represent MnSCU and the quality of education that our faculty and staff provide to Minnesota.”

The delegation also was briefed on the Workforce Assessment Initiative, a joint effort championed by MnSCU, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to address the state’s growing skills gap. The initiative began in April to engage Minnesota companies in helping to develop precise projections of how many workers and professionals, with what kinds of skills, will be needed in which regions of the state, for what kinds of jobs. More than 50 listening sessions throughout the state are being held. The data gathered from the Workforce Assessment sessions will be used by MnSCU to align its certificates and degrees, worker retraining and customized training programs with the needs of Minnesota business and industry.