The agriculture sector joined representatives of timber, construction and tourism industries for a congressional roundtable event Thursday in Staples, Minnesota. Seventh District Representative Michelle Fischbach and Eighth District Representative Pete Stauber heard concerns about the lack of housing, childcare and broadband, resulting in a labor shortage. “This is an issue I’ve all around the district, so many of our companies and the ag industry are looking for workers,” said Fischbach. Workforce development begins at the high school level. The value of a technical education was also highlighted. “Our goal is to talk to students about the many ways they can grow in agriculture with one in five jobs in agriculture,” said Central Lakes College President Hara Charlier. “It is a vast field with everything from production to business to high-tech GPS to machining, part of our task at CLC and AgCentric is to make students see that and get excited about it.”
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