M State President Peggy Kennedy was honored to be invited to accompany Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar as her guest at the State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 20. The senator’s office has provided the following news release announcing the invitation.
M State President to Attend State of the Union Address as Guest of Senator Klobuchar
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) today announced that Minnesota State Community and Technical College President Peggy Kennedy will attend the State of the Union address as her guest on Tuesday, Jan. 20.
M State has been a leader in the effort to narrow the manufacturing skills gap and has partnered with Minnesota businesses to prepare workers for manufacturing careers through workforce training and apprenticeship programs. Klobuchar has led legislation to strengthen science and math education and has long supported efforts to help match the skills of workers with the needs of local employers.
“In order to compete in the 21st century, we need to ensure our students and workers have the skills they need to get the jobs of tomorrow that our businesses are creating today, and schools like M State are helping make this happen,” Klobuchar said. “I know the president plans to focus on increasing access to community colleges at the State of the Union, and I hope the importance of developing and expanding strong workforce training programs will also be a part of his address.”
President Kennedy said she is honored to attend the State of the Union address with Sen. Klobuchar.
“One of M State’s top priorities is to strengthen our workforce learning strategies to better meet the needs of the business and industries in our region,” Kennedy said. “We attempt to be as innovative and flexible as possible in pursuing this priority. Sen. Kobuchar has been very supportive of our efforts.”
M State, with campuses in Detroit Lakes, Moorhead, Fergus Falls and Wadena, is part of the Minnesota Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a consortium of 13 campuses in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system with the goal of training workers in advanced manufacturing programs.
The school’s “CU Succeed Program” will help train 450 residents of west central Minnesota for in-demand careers in the construction and utilities industries. The school will partner with local businesses to provide training and certifications over three years in west central Minnesota using mobile training units, online workplace readiness and soft skills instruction, and workplace experiences.
Klobuchar has long supported efforts to help workers succeed in an increasingly specialized workforce while making the country’s economy more competitive. She has led bipartisan legislation with Republican Sen. John Hoeven, the Innovate America Act, which would fund 100 new STEM-focused high schools and help ensure workers have the skills they need to thrive in today’s competitive global economy.
She has also supported legislation, including the AMERICA Works Act and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, to help match the skills of workers with the needs of local employers.
President Obama will deliver the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at 8 p.m. Tuesday.