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College introduces new Dean of Trade and Technology

Travis Thul, newly named dean of Trade and Technology, speaks with area business leaders at Minnesota State College Southeast Tuesday morning. (photo by Samantha Bengs)

Fresh off the heels of announcing a new name and expanding services, Minnesota State College Southeast introduced Travis Thul, the new dean of Trade and Technology on the Red Wing campus. More than 45 local business leaders gathered Tuesday morning for an address from college President Dorothy Duran and a listening session, led by Leslie Bleskachek, vice president of academic affairs, and Thul. College leadership invited local employers to the discussion to learn what they need from MSC Southeast.

“Looking at the Mississippi River Valley in Minnesota and Wisconsin, you will see that we have more manufacturing per capita than anywhere else in the country,” Thul said. “If you are looking for employment in manufacturing or trades, this is the place to do it.”

Thul took questions from multiple local employers, seeking ways the college can shape future programming to better assist with employment needs.

“We are coming up on some of our best opportunities to grow our capabilities, it is a very exciting time,” Thul said.

Bleskachek highlighted three focuses of the college as growing programing that is unique to the region, regrowing the trades in Red Wing, and addressing the talks of a four-year university in Red Wing.

“We are in the final stages of discussions with three universities to offer bachelor degree completion here in Red Wing,” Bleskachek said. “The ink isn’t dry yet, but we’re talking about a variety of programs.”

College President Duran stressed the college’s commitment to the community.

“This is the start of an open dialogue to integrate our college with our community,” she said. “We’re here to serve you and ultimately, to serve our students.”