ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system officials are seeking more state funding to make the schools more accessible and affordable, as the state is seeing a surge in skilled trades training.

Chancellor Devinder Malhotra tells Minnesota Public Radio that while the system has about 38,000 graduates a year, officials feel the need to scale up operations.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says the state had a 2.8 percent unemployment rate last month. The low rate is leaving Minnesota firms struggling to hire qualified mechanics, technicians and other tradespeople.

Malhotra says the state’s 30 two-year colleges will help address the state’s tight skilled labor market. He plans to pitch his funding request to state lawmakers this spring.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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