Community Ed offers courses in labor history, construction careers

Want to learn more about local labor history? Looking to explore career opportunities in the construction trades? These two labor-related courses are among the St. Paul Public Schools’ lineup of Community Ed offerings this winter.

Peter Rachleff, a retired Macalester professor and co-director of the East Side Freedom Library, will teach “The Labor Movement and the Struggle for Democracy in Minnesota” on Tuesday nights, Feb. 13 to March 20, at the historic Carnegie library, located at 1105 Greenbrier St. Registration cost is $53.

The course description promises a survey of how Minnesota workers – “native born and immigrant, women and men, skilled and unskilled, blue collar and white collar, people of color and white” – have organized over the last 150 years for political power and a collective voice on the job.

“Learn how they struggled for citizenship and the right to vote; demanded the right to organize and engage in collective bargaining; organized unions to protect their rights at work; and organized politically to shape public policy.”

People entering the labor force – or considering a career change – will get an overview of opportunities in the construction trades at a one-day course Feb. 27, taught by Don Mullin, executive secretary of the St. Paul Building and Construction Trades Council. The session will cover coursework and skills needed for different trades, expectations, insurance, work cycles and more.

Choosing a Career in the Trades” will meet from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the St. Paul Community Ed offices, 1780 W. 7th St. It’s open to ages 16 and up. Cost of registration is $7.

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