Minnesota Industry Group Wants Teens in Construction
Although Minnesota law permits teens ages 16 and 17 to work in a variety of fields, construction is not one of them. David Siegel, the executive director of BATC-Housing First Minnesota, told Finance & Commerce that it’s time for that to change.
In response to construction labor shortages, BATC and other industry groups are urging the state to allow young workers to perform certain jobs on construction sites. Several states allow older teens to work in construction, according to the report. The group hopes to bring teens on board, but keep them off more injury-prone tasks.
“You can put some restrictions on the equipment they would use, height, things like that, to ensure they’re safe,” Siegel told Finance & Commerce. “I think it’s more about exposure on the job site. It doesn’t have to be a full-on construction opportunity. It’s how do we get them seeing what it’s like and experiencing, ‘Wow, this is something I really want to do.’”
Some Minnesota legislators back the idea, the report says, but want to see safety addressed. They would also require an explanation for how the program would create lifelong workers.
BATC does not have a specific proposal to present to legislators at this time.
Source: Finance & Commerce