Young adults in Ramsey County will be able to get job training while getting paid under a new $10 million program launched by the county and the city of St. Paul.
The program uses funding from the federal American Rescue Plan, which provided $350 billion in federal money to state, local and tribal governments.
Officials said the Learn and Earn program partners with community organizations to provide young adults a chance to explore and advance in different career fields, with paid education and training for in-demand careers in fields including construction, health care, technology and entrepreneurship
Learn and Earn offers career preparation opportunities in 13 different fields to Ramsey County residents ages 18-30, and low-income residents will be given priority.
Grow the Future of Public Media
MPR News is supported by Members. Gifts from individuals power everything you find here. Make a gift of any amount today to become a Member!
“Our goal is to invest directly in our young people. It’s to invest directly in business to invest directly in our entrepreneurs of all ages. There’s a 6-year-old entrepreneur in this room as we speak,” St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said Thursday at a news conference at Osborne 370, a hub for innovation and ideas.
Carter also touched on the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of affirmative action in college admissions, saying programs like Learn and Earn will be key to creating equitable opportunities.
“This work is critical to the 700 young people who we’re going to create opportunities for, through this program,” Carter said. Systems built against us, systems built intentionally to work against the type of opportunities democratized equitable opportunities that we are talking about here today.”
Bridgemakers is one of the organizations involved in Learn and Earn. Founder Cole Stevens was part of an effort to allow working high school students to receive unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs. The next victory for youth is more employment and business opportunities, Stevens said.
“It’s time to win on building a more inclusive and just economy for our young people here in the east metro, and that’s what this investment from the ARPA dollars is all about.” Stevens said.
Support services such as transportation are covered for individuals as a part of the program. All programs will be rolling in within the next few years but several programs are accepting participants now.
Find more information at the Ramsey County website.