Minneapolis School program goals to diversify bicycle {industry}

Amanda Dobbs graduated from this system earlier this 12 months and now runs her personal bike restore store in north Minneapolis.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — A girl-owned bike restore store is now open in north Minneapolis. It bought its begin with some assist from a brand new program at Minneapolis Group and Technical School that goals to diversify the bicycle {industry}. 

“It is a particular change of profession for me… one thing completely out of my wheelhouse,” mentioned Amanda Dobbs, proprietor and CEO of Camden Cycles in north Minneapolis. 

Previous to the bike store, Dobbs was a stay-at-home mother for 14 years and earlier than that labored in group schooling. 

Throughout the begin of the pandemic, she determined she wished to open a store within the Camden neighborhood.

“I have been on this neighborhood for 15 years; I really grew up on this space. There’s a enormous lack of group areas for us,” Dobbs mentioned. 

Whereas looking for lessons to discover ways to repair bicycles, Dobbs found Minneapolis School’s Bicycle Meeting and Restore Technician Certificates program. This system launched within the fall of 2021 and is one in every of solely two post-secondary bicycle technician applications within the nation. 

Minneapolis School launched this system in collaboration with the Bicycle Business Employers Affiliation (BIEA). The nationwide nonprofit is on a mission to develop “good, cost-effective applications” for regionally-accredited schools — serving to to create a direct path to careers within the bicycle {industry}. 

Minneapolis School’s is a two-semester, 28-credit program that begins through the Fall semester. 

In line with Minneapolis School teacher Casey Coughlin, turning into a motorcycle mechanic is mostly finished by an apprenticeship. 

“You be taught from the pinnacle mechanic which typically is unbelievable and typically is lower than unbelievable,” Coughlin mentioned. “So that you get totally different experiences in numerous bike retailers and having a centralized, accredited, standardized program, creates requirements which are industry-wide for all of the graduates.” 

Coughlin mentioned this system additionally helps take away a few of the gatekeeping seen within the {industry}. 

“The bike {industry} is traditionally very white and really male. Notably since you’re sort of taking a guess on any apprentice that you simply rent. That white, male workforce, not essentially by any fault of their very own, have a tendency to breed themselves very reliably,” Coughlin mentioned. 

Coughlin mentioned having this system at Minneapolis School is sensible with such a various scholar inhabitants. 

“So we achieve numerous that range that we’re lacking within the {industry},” she mentioned. 

In its first 12 months, eight college students graduated from this system together with Dobbs. By the top of Might, Dobbs was opening Camden Cycles within the Loppet Basis constructing on Dowling Ave. North. Dobbs mentioned she is simply conscious of three different women-owned bike retailers in Minnesota. 

“It is a wild experience. A dream come true,” Dobbs mentioned. “Many marginalized individuals have adverse experiences going into the bike store and I wish to create a protected area the place anybody can really feel assured asking any questions that they’d wish to and I can meet them the place they’re at,” Dobbs mentioned. 

Dobbs additionally considers Camden Cycles a household store, babyproofing the place with covers on the retailers and nook protectors on the glass cabinets. 

She hosts free Open Store nights from 6-8 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday of each month. Specialists can be found to reply questions and assist stroll individuals by the method of fixing their bike. Dobbs mentioned she gives meals and may watch attendees’ children whereas they find out about bikes. You may enroll at [email protected] 

“A very powerful a part of my mission is to guarantee that Northsiders, particularly, are in a position to get on bikes and to get on protected bikes and have every part they should actually absolutely get pleasure from this sport, this methodology of transportation,” Dobbs mentioned. “Everyone deserves to really feel the enjoyment that bikes deliver.” 

These occupied with studying extra about Minneapolis School’s Bicycle Meeting and Restore Technician Certificates program can discover info, right here. Enrollment is open for the autumn semester. Registration ends on September 20 and August 22 for these utilizing monetary support. 

Camden Cycles
1420 Dowling Ave N, Mpls MN 55412

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