Eye On Mining: Upcoming projects expected to boost local trade jobs

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DULUTH, MN — An economic boom is coming to the region and it’s expected to create a number of construction and full-time jobs.

A local grassroots organization called “Better In Our Back Yard” is opening up the conversation around how the increased demand for the trades is an economic growth opportunity for our region.
“We can do projects here and we can do them right,” said Brian Hanson, CEO of APEX. “Our skilled tradespeople who are used to having to move around and go to jobs everywhere around the country can stay here and that’s one of the things we’re really excited about over the next at least five year period.”
That includes projects for Essentia and St. Lukes, Enbridge, Minnesota Power, and PolyMet. With all permits in hand, the copper-nickel mine is working through financing, but once construction begins the company says it will require two million hours of construction labor. LaTisha Gietzen, who does Public and Community Relations for PolyMet, said their plan is to keep the work local.
“So we have a project labor agreement in place with the trades and we will increase that demand for local labor significantly once we start construction.”
Increase in demand means an increase in job opportunities. That’s something Hanson said will benefit the region.
“These are jobs that are going to keep our trade skilled people here and, by the way, are really attracting lots of young people who are interested in these kinds of professions as well to take that leap because they know there are a lot of projects coming up where they’ll have a good job for a long time.”
Kristen Vake

Kristen Vake

Anchor, Reporter

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