A plan to meet construction hiring needs in central Minnesota

More than 6,000 jobs are available according to Gail Cruikshank, director of talent for the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation. She says about 500 of those jobs are in construction. Cruikshank says there are currently limits for 16- to 18-year-olds who want to work on construction sites. She says that they turn to local legislators to help them find ways to start young people in the field of construction early, because Cruikshank says that if the law does not allow young people to start before the age of 18, they risk losing some of that talent to other careers.

Gail Cruikshank and Aric Putnam (Photo – Jay Caldwell)

Gail Cruikshank and Aric Putnam (Photo – Jay Caldwell)

Summit Academy trains people for jobs in the construction industry in Minnesota. Minnesota State Senator Aric Putnam joined Gail Cruikshank and I on WJON today. He says Summit Academy has indicated to him that they may be looking to expand their coverage and that St. Cloud may be a candidate for expansion. Summit Academy is located in North Minneapolis and offers a 10-week training program. The program is half classroom and half hands-on. Summit Academy also places these graduate students in jobs. Student participation is free. Money is provided through sponsorships and donations. Cruikshank says St. Cloud employers find employees from this program. She says it’s also an opportunity for St. Cloud to gain population with employees moving to the St. Cloud area to fill those jobs.

Putnam says youth building is a good way to get young people interested in the construction industry, but he would like it to expand from at-risk individuals to all individuals. He says supervision and safety for this profession is important and he is not convinced it is an appropriate industry for 16 year olds.

If you want to learn more about job opportunities in the St. Cloud area, visit stcloudshines.com. If you want to listen to my full conversation with Gail and Aric, it’s available below.

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