Trading Up is a new program at Saint Paul College that provides a career pathway into the skilled building and construction trades, for qualified applicants.
During the training phase of the program, Trading Up will provide program participants with hands-on experience in a variety of skilled trades. Available skilled trades include: carpenter, electrician, plumber, pipefitter, bricklayer, tile setter, sheet metal worker, heat and frost insulator, equipment/machine operator, iron worker, painter, glazier, and roofer.
The goal of the Trading Up program is to successfully place trainees in an apprenticeship program, either with a trades union or Building Minnesota. Participants will receive on-the-job, paid training with one of the participating businesses.
Trading Up Program Courses
The following training courses are available to program participants, but not every trainee will take every course, given the highly individualized nature of the program.
- Introduction to Apprenticeships & Unions
- OSHA 10
- CPR & First Aid
- Financial Benefits & Challenges of Trades Work
- Diversity Awareness for Construction Workers
- Introduction to Construction Drawing
- Operation of Process Tools
- Communication Skills in the Construction Industry
- Hands-on Training: Rotation of Trades (off site)
- Basic Math for Construction Trades
- Introduction to Hand Tools
- Introduction to Power Tools
- Individual Tutoring (math, reading, writing)
- Union Test Preparation & Registration
Applicants to the Trading Up program must be at least 18 years old and currently receiving public assistance in the state of Minnesota, or have a household income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level:
Household Income Level
Size (or Less)
Please review the
Application to Trading Up (PDF) for a list of financial documentation required of each applicant.
Trading Up program participants will receive individualized assessment and career guidance counseling from a career navigator. The goal is to make sure each trainee finds the trade that best suits his or her abilities and interests.
Download the Trading Up Program Application
Trading Up Program Funding
The program has been funded through a grant from the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP), and includes partnerships with the Saint Paul Building & Construction Trades Council, Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry, Workforce Solutions (Ramsey County), Helmets to Hardhats and Washington County Workforce Center. Participating businesses include Collins Electrical Construction Company, Hunt Electric Corporation, Muska Electric Company, Muska Plumbing LLC, Harris Mechanical, McGough, Corval Group, Swanson & Youngdale, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council #82, Nasseff Mechanical, Total Construction, Medina Electrical, CBI, Pioneer Power, Rainbow, Scheck Mechanical and Mechanical Operations.