ST. CLOUD - Manufacturing jobs are growing in demand across the country and local schools like Apollo are taking notice.

Apollo is following a national trend of high schools that realize there are many good-paying manufacturing jobs available across the country. Technical skills are rising in demand with shortages of welders, machinists and maintenance technicians.

Apollo offers several auto classes to its students. (Dan DeBaun, WJON)

Apollo offers a variety of technical courses, including woods, construction, auto repair, metals, machining, multimedia and a new engineering class to its students.

Jacob Masters is a second year Technical Education teacher at the school and says Apollo also offers classes with the St. Cloud Technical and community college to offer college credit.

"At Apollo we have the secondary courses where they can get technical credits, which saves them half a year of college and gets them job ready-which is a big part of the demand right now," Masters says

Even if students aren’t interested in a technical career. Masters says the skills are valuable and can save students time and money.

"A student came to me after the course was done and changed his breaks himself-there's a sense of accomplishment that comes along with that."

After previous declines-Masters says the program has grown over the last couple years with District 742 emphasizing manufacturing and technology education. Masters says the school board and superintendent Willie Jett have been incredibly supportive with expanding technical classes.

"It's a wonderful thing, I enjoy teaching the students here at Apollo life skills-is what I call them," Masters says.


Jacob Masters teaches technical education and technology courses at Apollo (Dan DeBaun, WJON).