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Consortium uses video conferencing to connect workers, companies, educators

July 29, 2013 | Telepresence Options

central lakes college

Story by Rory Lidstone / WebRTC World

Since January 2007, thousands of manufacturing workers in Minnesota have either lost their jobs due to foreign trade or are in danger of job loss.

Manufacturers across the region are experiencing a severe skills gap - they can find plenty of lower-skilled workers but high-skilled technicians in advanced manufacturing disciplines are scarce.

To attack this trend, Central Lakes College of Staples and Brainerd, along with Pine Technical College of Pine City and St. Cloud Technical and Community College, formed a Minnesota consortium with fellow members of the state's 360 Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center of Excellence at Bemidji State University and other schools in the Minnesota State College and University System.

Last year, the consortium created the Regional Advanced Manufacturing Re-Training program, the results of which aim to directly lead to high-wage, high-skilled employment outcomes for more than 3,900 workers in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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