Are you open to a career in Minnesota’s building and construction trades after high school? Do you excel at hands-on work and want to get paid to learn new skills? Are you looking for an alternative to attending college or joining the military?
Minnesota’s construction trade unions offer pathways to career-ready skills, a paycheck and debt-free college credit. Registered apprenticeship is the gold standard of work-based learning.
High school students can learn about construction careers through hands-on opportunities sponsored by the Construction Careers Foundation, such as the Minnesota Trades Academy, Construction Apprenticeship Prep (CAP) courses offered through Minnesota’s high schools, or Construct Tomorrow events.
Here are stories from Minnesota high school students who participated in these programs.
Construction Careers Foundation and Dunwoody College of Technology partner with Girl Scouts River Valleys to introduce Girl Scouts to careers in construction. Marine on St. Croix — It’s not every day that a hard hat sits atop every head at Camp Lakamaga, but the sight was not uncommon by the end of June when nearly […]Learn More
By: Amanda Pedersen Hard work and persistence still payoff. Justyn Lundgren, 20, will be the first person in his family to graduate from high school. But he will savor his graduation day even more because it was through his choices, hardwork and initiative which allowed him to walk across the stage. Only a few years […]Learn More
By: Amanda Pedersen Life often offers its own twists and turns. You dream of one thing one day, only to find that it opens a door to something you never considered before. So it was for Daunte Greyhair, 19, who thought that his passion was cooking. He dreamed of becoming a chef and owning a […]Learn More
By: Amanda Pedersen When you move around a lot as a kid, you grow up learning to adapt quickly to your new environment and, you learn to value stability. While Decidecio “Deci” Nunez, 19, has moved around a lot — eight schools since his 5th grade — he doesn’t let that stifle him. He is […]Learn More
By: Amanda Pedersen Irondale graduate, Marina Sinniger, has construction in her blood. Learning from her grandfather who was a sheet metal worker, she has been tinkering since she was a kid. “He taught me what he could because I was too young to work with most of the power tools,” said nineteen-year old Sinniger. “When […]Learn More
By: Amanda Pedersen Precision, creativity, and self-awareness is what it takes for a skater to learn a new trick. Learning from each failed attempt, a skate-boarder gets back on the board and attempts the trick again — until it’s absolutely perfect. Recent White Bear Lake Area Learning Center graduate Lucas Moren can be found doing […]Learn More
By: Amanda Pedersen When Riley Wolf was a child, he wanted to be a firefighter. He even signed up for a volunteer program at age 16. But now, at age 20, Wolf is considering a career in construction. “Construction is a lot like being a firefighter — its manual work but you have to think […]Learn More
By: Amanda Pedersen Being curious and open to learning new things that challenge you is a skill that many people wish they had. Most people would say that the butterfly is the hardest stroke in swimming. Some can practice for years without perfecting it. Gary Woodward, 17, is someone who is not afraid to work […]Learn More
By: Amanda Pederson Elaborate Dungeons & Dragons campaigns can take a player from solving intricate puzzles to engaging in intense battles. Embarking upon imaginary adventures within a fantasy setting, players in D&D use their creative minds to construct game characters and work together for a common goal. And that’s exactly the creative thrill that Kyle […]Learn More
By: Emily Sweeney Satlwe Moo found the perfect summer job. A job where he could learn something new and work on his physical health. All while getting paid for it. Starting his senior year at Harding High School this fall, Moo, a resident of St. Paul’s Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood is optimistic about his future – […]Learn More
By Emily Sweeney Ivis Carranza’s biggest role model in life is his grandfather, a man who showed him the value of hard work and encouraged Carranza to “take every opportunity to learn new things.” At 20 years old, Carranza has already taken those words to heart. Before starting classes at St. Paul College, he decided […]Learn More
By: Emily Sweeney Omelkeir Muhumed’s name means “bringing goodness” and she does that often when she leads by example, as an older sister, as a student and on the construction site. The Roosevelt 10th grader is the oldest of eight children in her family. Her youngest brother is 10 months old. “I always help out […]Learn More
By: Emily Sweeney William Quito is the type of person you want on your team. Whether it’s on the soccer field, in the classroom or at work, Quito has a can-do attitude that motivates those around him to strive for success. A rising senior at South High School in Minneapolis, Quito sees parallels between his […]Learn More
By: Emily Sweeney St. Paul resident Kong Xiong had little experience and almost no interest in construction before this summer. But after enrolling in Step-Up, a youth achievement and career exploration program at Washington Technology Magnet School in St Paul, Xiong, a rising senior, wanted to gain work experience and learn new skills. That’s why […]Learn More
By: Emily Sweeney Daniel Ryan starts his junior year this fall at Highland Park High School in St. Paul and he’s already planning for life after high school. The first step of Ryan’s post-high school plan was put into motion this summer when he signed up for a paid summer construction internship through the Minnesota […]Learn More
By: Emily Sweeney For Charlahn “Lahni” Maggitt, being creative is part of how he expresses himself. “If I looked up a picture, I could draw it,” Maggitt said. “Other people definitely describe me as creative because I like all kinds of drawing, painting, poetry, and even sculpting.” An 11th grader at Como Park Senior High […]Learn More
By: Emily Sweeney Mohamud Ibrahim doesn’t like sitting. He’d rather be outside playing soccer and scoring goals. Anything – anything – to stay active. To use his hands. To move his feet. So, to keep himself moving this summer, Ibrahim wanted to find hands-on work that would allow him to be outside. That’s why the Minneapolis […]Learn More
By: Emily Sweeney Deairion Rouser’s friends, family and teachers describe him as a curious learner. He’s always looking for new opportunities and he arrives ready to learn and participate. Rouser graduated from Transition Plus High School in Minneapolis this spring, where a job coordinator recommended that he apply for the Minnesota Trades Academy (MTA), a […]Learn More
By: Karin Ellefson Samira Alden wanted to push herself and try something new, so she signed up for the Minnesota Trades Academy. The Minnesota Trades Academy is a paid summer construction internship experience for selected Twin Cities area high school youth. Offering two different tracks, students learn about the construction trades through hands-on experiences. Track […]Learn More
By: Emily Sweeney Family, friends and teachers go to Rome Robinson when they need something fixed. “Oh man, people ask me all the time,” Robison said. “I’ve fixed my door, my dad’s car, windows, stuff like that.” So it probably comes as no surprise to anyone who knows Robinson that he would apply for a […]Learn More
By: Morgan Brackin An incoming junior at North Community High School in Minneapolis, Alejandro Anderson, was excited to join the Minnesota Trades Academy to start learning about his options after high school. Like many Minnesota high school students, Anderson is interested in attending a four-year university after high school. And, like many students, he knows […]Learn More
By: Karin Ellefson Recent graduate from Edison High School, Abdi Ahmed loves working with his hands and being active, but like many 18-year-olds, he is in search for an answer to a question: “What should I do with my life now?” Originally from Ethiopia, Africa, Ahmed lived as a refugee and came to the United […]Learn More
By: Emily Sweeney Starting a career in construction offers a gateway for a young woman to realize her dream of owning her own business someday. Gabriella Soika knows what it means to work hard. As a rising senior at the High School For Recording Arts a public charter school located in Saint Paul’s Midway neighborhood, […]Learn More
By: Emily Sweeney When a football coach needs speed, he calls on William Thomas-Brown. Not many student athletes can match Thomas-Brown’s high energy on and off the field, and even fewer athletes have the endurance to play wide receiver, quarterback and running back all for the same team. Thomas-Brown is excited for the fall football […]Learn More
MN Trades Academy Interns Build a Home, Make Friends of a Lifetime For some students, high school is about going to pep rallies, studying for exams and getting a diploma. For others, such as Ahleah Harris and Halle Arneson, high school is so much more. They are both involved in the Minnesota Trades Academy, a […]Learn More
Hands-on, paid summer internship experience in the Minnesota Trades Academy helps students learn about construction career choices Some high school students definitely know they want to go to college. Others, the military. But there are many students who don’t know exactly what they want to do. They do know that they want something different. For […]Learn More