MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — U.S. Sen. Al Franken says he’s trying to close the nation’s skill gap.

On Monday, he put on the Advancing Career Pathways Summit at St. Paul College, speaking on the partnerships Minnesota employers have with high schools and community colleges to prepare students for good paying jobs.

“Advanced manufacturers need these skilled workers,” he said.

The Democratic senator says he knows a number of companies that pay for their workers to get an associate’s degrees while they are working.

Franken says that when he returns to Washington he plans to introduce his new “Advancing Career Pathways Innovation Act” to encourage school districts to partner with businesses and expose students to career pathways.