Are the skilled trades making a comeback? 

A woman works on car that is hoisted into the air.
Enrollment went up eight percent at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis in 2021, in part because of more interest in the school's two-year automotive program.
Courtesy Dunwoody

The high cost of a four-year college degree and the tight labor market are encouraging some young people to take a closer look at the skilled trades.  

Jobs in fields like construction, automotive repair and robotic manufacturing generally require fewer years of expensive schooling than a bachelor’s degree and they pay well. Enrollment is up nationally in two-year programs at technical schools.

MPR News host Angela Davis talked about workforce development and efforts to help young people get into the trades. 


  • Steve Grove is the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

  • Scott Stallman is provost at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis.

  • Mike Miron is a teacher in Forest Lake Area Schools and coordinator of the school’s Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s Youth Skills Training Program.

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