Posted: January 24, 2012

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@MinnState.edu, 651-201-1426

This news release originally was published by Sen. Klobuchar’s office.

Under President Kopischke, Alexandria Tech’s successful training programs have demonstrated the growing importance of technical schools

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today invited Kevin Kopischke, the president of Alexandria Technical and Community College, to attend the State of the Union address as her guest on Tuesday, January 24. Klobuchar said President Kopischke’s innovative programs highlight the growing importance of technical schools to the country’s economy.

“From paper mills to poultry lines, American industry is changing. Increasingly, economic success depends on matching advanced technology with workers who have specialized skills to use that technology and get the job done,”Klobuchar said. “Kevin’s attendance will highlight the tremendous success of Alexandria Tech at preparing students for jobs in the 21st-century economy and the importance of technical education for the future of America’s economy.”

“Alexandria Tech has become the nerve center of economic vitality in our region, providing businesses with much-needed access to a highly-trained workforce,” Kopischke said.“We need to make sure that education is looked at as a critical investment for the economy, and I am looking forward to hearing that from the President Tuesday night.”

At Alexandria Technical and Community College, President Kopischke oversees an innovative program that trains students for the technologically-advanced fields of manufacturing automation and motion control, especially in the packaging industry. The program has a job placement rate of 96 percent. In addition, it also provides customized training and continuing education courses for 5,000 existing Minnesota businesses, increasing access for students and providing local businesses with the skills they need to promote growth.

Senator Klobuchar has long been a proponent of technical schools and increasing America’s competiveness. Klobuchar is currently working on legislation designed to build on successes like Alexandria Technical Community College and increase partnerships between the business community and technical schools. In addition, Senator Klobuchar’s Innovate America Act encourages greater competiveness by expanding the Basic Research Tax Credit to include all industry-funded university research and allows companies to take a flat 30% tax credit for donations of equipment to high schools and technical and community colleges.