Miles of Highway 52 in Rosemount filled with crowds leading up to the Dakota County Technical College on Nov. 30 in anticipation of President Joe Biden’s visit to the college.
Hundreds of people lined the sides of the highway holding up signs and flags to show support for or protest against the president’s visit who made his first appearance to the state since being elected.
The president’s visit to the state attracted protesters with an array of causes, including Trump supporters holding “Trump 2024” signs and Ethiopian Minnesotans protesting Biden’s foreign policy in Ethiopia.
Biden visited the college in November to tout the recently passed $1 trillion infrastructure package.
The federal law is set to fund $4 billion in improvements to Minnesota’s highways, $818 million in public transportation investments and $302 million to repair and replace the state’s bridges, according to the White House.
“We know about our infrastructure problems, we’ve known for a long time and now we’re doing something about it," Biden said to an audience of about 100 people at the event.
Members of the audience included Gov. Tim Walz, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and U.S. Reps. Angie Craig, Dean Phillips and Betty McCollum.
Smith, who spoke at the event before Biden came out, said the infrastructure bill is a historic investment into Minnesota’s towns and its future generation of students.
“This is an investment in the students here at the Dakota County Technical College and places like this all over the state and put these students in high paying jobs, good jobs, union jobs,” she said.
The president came to the county on his tour to promote the new bill because the college "has programs to train the next generation of workers to build, operate and maintain infrastructure" included in the bill, the White House said in a news release.
Before the president delivered his remarks on the new bill, he met with students in the school’s garage space to tour the heavy trucking program.
A number of college staff and students attended the private event to show the president the campus.
Student and National Guard member Sarah Herzan spoke at the event and expressed the importance of trade jobs the bill claims to create and support.
Herzan said she hopes to start her own heavy construction equipment business and hire an all-female team after getting her degree from DCTC.
Student Trentin Ludewig said it was exciting to have the president at his college.
“It was pretty cool to see the president,” Ludewig said. “Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”