Saint Paul Police Department Drives High School Students to Careers in Construction

St. Paul, MN – Looking for a tangible way to impact young people in Saint Paul? How about ensuring that they get to internships that introduce them to careers in construction?

The Saint Paul Police Department, in support of the Construction Careers Pathways, a statewide effort to introduce middle school and high school students to careers in construction, is driving 13 high school students participating in the Minnesota Trade Academy, to the program’s internship site(s) in police vans for up to nine weeks this summer.

The Saint Paul Police Department is transporting students to locations that allow students selected for the Minnesota Trade Academy to learn more about careers in construction through hands-on experiences directed by skilled tradesmen. Saint Paul Police School Resource Officer Toy Vixayvong is coordinating the rides for the Minnesota Trade Academy students.

Because of the generosity of the Saint Paul Police Department, not only can more students participate in the Minnesota Trades Academy, but the program is able to save up to $7,000 in transportation rental and fuel costs, which can be put toward building the program to serve more youth in the future.

“This is an incredibly generous service that the Saint Paul Police Department is offering to our program,” says Sam Ebute, The program’s director is Sam Ebute, director of the Minnesota Trade Academy, one of several programs offered by the Construction Careers Pathway (www.constructioncareers.org).

“I’m incredibly proud of this program and excited about the world of opportunities it will offer young people in our community,” said Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell. “Working in our schools gave Officer Toy Vixayvong an opportunity to get to know students, identify a need and reach out to the Constructions Careers Foundation and the Minnesota Trade Academy to develop a program that will benefit students, the trades and our community for years to come.”

The Minnesota Trade Academy (MTA) is one of several programs offered through the Construction Careers Pathways (constructioncareers.org), a statewide effort led by the Construction Careers Foundation that is connecting Minnesota middle school and high school students with real-life careers in Minnesota’s construction industry. The Minnesota Trades Academy is a paid summer construction internship experience that prepares high school students for adulthood through hands-on, life-long learning, skill development, and access to good jobs with good benefits in the construction industry. Participating students learn directly from skilled construction workers.

The summer program offers two tracks – a six-week introduction to construction career opportunities within the building trades industry (e.g., carpentry, pipefitting and electrical), and an advanced, nine-week internship that offers a path to a union apprenticeship in which the students learn at up to 16 apprenticeship training centers.

About the Construction Careers Foundation

The Construction Careers Foundation is a Saint Paul-based nonprofit dedicated to fostering and developing Construction Career Pathways for middle school and high school students. 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 Minnesota construction industry. To learn more about the Construction Careers Foundation, visit constructioncareers.org.