The Minnesota Trades Academy summer 2021 class size will be reduced in accordance with CDC COVID-19 guidelines. The program expects to return to full capacity for the summer 2022 session.
The Minnesota Trades Academy (MTA) paid summer construction trades internship program will host a reduced class size this summer with plans to resume full capacity summer of 2022.
MTA maintains four employer partnerships with Minneapolis Step Up, St. Paul Right Track, Ramsey County’s ULEAD and Brooklyn Centers’ BrookLynk. This summer’s 30-intern class will be split between ULEAD and BrookLynk.
“We began scaling back the program last summer and with many volunteers that fall into high-risk categories (for COVID-19), we’ve decided it’s best to connect our youth directly with Sam Ebute in his new Trades Navigator role and resume the full capacity program again when more people are immunized,” said Sarah Lechowich, Senior Director of the Construction Careers Foundation.
Trades Navigator Sam Ebute reflected on the time he served as Minnesota Trades Director and the importance of bringing the opportunity back for students as soon as possible.
“I’ve worked with this program for nine years and last summer, through the pandemic, I was incredibly proud of the work we did and how we still successfully hosted and educated interns while following government and CDC safety protocol — even though our intern class sizes were greatly reduced,” Ebute said. “We want our partners and schools to know that we have every intention to continue the Minnesota Trades Academy program in the summer of 2022. We will provide schools and educators with application deadlines and program updates throughout the year.”
The Minnesota Trades Academy created a community and a starting point for many students to launch careers in Minnesota’s construction industry, noted Lechowich. She is eager for more students to be able to seize that opportunity again.
“This program is incredible in that it paid student interns and gave them the opportunity to work 20-30 hours a week on real-life projects, such as building a Habitat for Humanity home, which eventually became the home for a family in need,” said Lechowich.
More than 20 local unions have supported Minnesota Trades Academy each summer and provided tools and mentorship to students ages 16 to 20 years old, who primarily live in the Twin Cities metro area.
“While the pandemic has its set of challenges, the Construction Careers Foundation is adapting beyond the hybrid program approach and investing in new ways that we can individually support youth at a time of distance learning and develop relationships with trade unions and students beyond the Twin Cities,” Lechowich said. “This is in large part why Sam Ebute has taken on the Trades Navigator role. We encourage educators to connect with Sam if they have students whom they believe would be good candidates for the apprenticeship career pathway.”
“The Construction Career Foundation’s mission is to help youth unlock their potential, and for many students, having these resources and hands-on opportunities to work with tools and on construction sites is critical to their decision to seek out a career in the field,” Ebute said.
“One way or another, COVID-19 will be defeated,” said Lechowich. “In the meantime, we want to prepare for what’s ahead. Minnesota’s construction force needs young people to enter apprenticeship. Our job is to connect Minnesota’s young people with those opportunities – both online and in the classroom.”
About the Construction Careers Foundation
The Construction Careers Foundation is a Twin Cities-based nonprofit dedicated to fostering and developing construction career pathways for Minnesotans, especially young adults. With funding from the Minnesota State Legislature and oversight from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the Construction Careers Foundation conducts a statewide effort to attract more people, in particular, young people, women and people of color, into the construction trades to support the Minnesota construction industry.
To learn more about the Construction Careers Foundation, visit ConstructionCareers.org.