Construction Worker Shortage Being Addressed in Central MN
A shortage of construction workers is one of the challenges Central Minnesota is currently dealing with. I was joined on WJON by Summit Academy President LeRoy West and Talent Director Gail Cruikshank from the Greater St. Cloud Development Cooperation.
Summit is an accredited vocational institution with the mission to empower individuals to develop the ability to thrive and to become contributing citizens in their communities, as well as economic drivers of the State of Minnesota.
West explains that Summit trains for careers in construction, Information technology, health care and soon to be financial services. They are currently offering a satellite center in St. Cloud where 15 to 20 students start class December 6th with 10 weeks of instruction, 7 weeks on site at Summit in Minneapolis and then 3 weeks on site at a St. Cloud business leading to employment upon completion. West says the last 10 weeks are the hands on portion of the training.
West says their goal is to have a satellite center in St. Cloud so St. Cloud students don't have to travel to Summit in Minneapolis for the 7 weeks hands on training. He says he'd like to offer the entire 20 week program to St. Cloud students in St. Cloud.
Cruikshank says GSDC has partnerships with both Summit Academy and St. Cloud Tech and Community College. She indicates that SCTCC has a program offering the same things Summit does but is limited in how many students they can put through at a time. Cruikshank explains that their goal is to help local employers get the needed qualified construction workers they are looking for. She says there is 472 jobs available in construction in the St. Cloud area today.
If you'd like to listen to my conversation with LeRoy West it is available below.