- Associated Press - Monday, October 2, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minnesota college is investing more than $10 million to create additional class space for engineering students in an effort to meet a growing need for skilled workers in the state.

Dunwoody College will turn its old gymnasium into a space for engineering students. The students will be able to receive hands-on training in their chosen field, KARE-TV reported .

The state had almost 98,000 unfilled jobs last year, according to officials with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

College President Rich Wagner said the numbers show that companies are struggling to find qualified candidates to fill the positions.

“What I can tell you is the statistics about our job market are quite frightening,” Wagner said. “When you think about unemployment being 4 percent, you know what that means? It means talent is a very scarce resource and companies are trying all sorts of things to find ways to access that talent.”

Wagner said the state only has a few options for students wanting to studying engineering while there are thousands of job openings for mechanical engineers, software engineers and electrical engineers.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has almost 70 workforce development programs. The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership is a state program that aims to help train or re-train workers to meet specific needs. Businesses across the state also mentor high school students and create internship opportunities with universities and trade schools.

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Information from: KARE-TV, https://www.kare11.com

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