Industrial Training / Skills Gap / STEM Education

Minnesota student-run business turns out parts for state transportation department

By the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Mar 20, 2019

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The workday for this St. Francis, MN, machine shop begins with the sound of a school bell.

The 18 workers don safety glasses, pore over blueprints and sidle up to machines to get started making parts for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Don’t be fooled by their backpacks and school books. They may be students at St. Francis High School, but they mean business — and lately it’s the business of keeping the state’s snowplows on the road.

The new student-run business, dubbed Saints Manufacturing (after the school’s teams), has worked on hundreds of parts for MnDOT since the fall, giving the agency quotes for their work like any other vendor. The teens are filling orders for bolts and pins, poles and pulleys — parts bound for everything from snowplows to traffic signals.

Read the full story, "St. Francis students score big by turning out parts for MnDOT," on

See also: "High school manufacturing program guarantees students a well-paying job after graduation," "Filling the skilled labor gap" and "Design, build, program a 120-pound robot; then do homework" on