Visiting Rochester and Red Wing
Over the last few weeks, Sen. Franken has been traveling around Minnesota on a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education tour, where he is visiting schools and businesses to emphasize the importance of STEM education as key to the state’s future competitiveness. In Red Wing, he toured Red Wing Shoes and ordered his first pair of authentic Red Wing boots. He also took the opportunity to meet with David Murphy, Red Wing Shoes' President and COO, to talk about manufacturing and job growth in Minnesota.
Eighteen of Minnesota's 20 fastest growing industries require STEM skills and more and more manufacturing jobs are becoming more high tech. In Shakopee, Sen. Franken spoke with Michael Yeager, owner of Yeager Machine, who said that they are looking to hire more people but can't because of the lack of qualified candidates.
“Our nation’s future competitiveness in the global economy depends on how well we prepare our students in STEM fields, and right now we’re lagging behind,” said Sen. Franken. "We need to encourage STEM education to prepare the next generation to work and compete in the 21st century economy."
Last October, Sen. Franken cosponsored a bill to promote STEM education, which would increase student access to STEM programs and would invest in recruiting, training, and supporting STEM teachers.