Senator Klobuchar tours Albert Lea manufacturer - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Senator Klobuchar tours Albert Lea manufacturer

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ALBERT LEA, Minn. (KTTC) -- DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar toured the region Thursday to meet with youth in manufacturing apprenticeship programs.

"We have great students that make hard workers," Klobuchar said.  "That's something that not everyone has to offer. The fact that North Dakota is hiring and we're hiring, it makes it a little competitive."

Sen. Klobuchar visited Lou-Rich, Inc. in Albert Lea to highlight programs that connect high schoolers and college students to local manufacturers.  The Minnesota Youth Apprenticeship Program in Albert Lea provides on-site job training and mentorships.

For Bradford Milliron, a recent graduate of the program, his experience at the company turned into a part-time job while he pursues college.

"When I was doing it, I was always in something different every week, every two weeks, so there's always something different I was involved in," said Milliron.

The Minnesota Youth Apprenticeship Program in Albert Lea began in 2012 and works with the Minnesota Department of Education to allow students to obtain course credit while working with the program.

"The baby boomers are retiring, jobs are getting more technology involved and young people bring those computer skills," said Albert Lea's program coordinator, Valerie Kvale.

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, manufacturing jobs account for 13 percent of the state's private sector jobs and fifteen percent of the private sector's output.

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