a photo of the Building Strong Communities Graduation in the Grand Hall

This year’s Building Strong Communities (BSC) graduation ceremony is set to begin at 10am on Friday, May 3rd in the Grand Hall. It is our largest cohort ever with 125 students starting the program. Scheduled to speakers at this year’s event include President Garcia, the commissioners from the Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Minnesota’s Department of Labor and Industry and the Minnesota Public Utility Commission. Tentatively scheduled to speak (schedules permitting) the CEO of Xcel Energy and Governor Walz. It is anticipated that several media outlets will be in attendance.

BSC is a multi-craft construction apprenticeship preparatory program co-developed by NHCC and the State of Minnesota’s Building and Construction Trades Council. It’s stated goal is to facilitate the entry of populations underrepresented in Minnesota’s unionized construction industry including BIPOC community members, women, and veterans. It is taught at NHCC as the course CMSV 1000 – Construction Professionalism Seminar. This year’s program was facilitated by the Powerup grant BSC received from Xcel Energy, and many of the students graduating from this years program will start their craft apprenticeship on one of the nation’s largest solar generation construction projects. This project is north of the metro at the site of Xcel Energies Sherco coal fired power plant that is scheduled to be decommission by the end of 2025. From their press release, Xcel Energy has invested over $1 billion dollars in the construction of what soon will be Minnesota’s largest solar energy generation facility.

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