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ST. CLOUD -- The St. Cloud Technical and Community College has some big things in store this year with the addition of their new Medium-Heavy Truck and Auto Body Building.

The college was awarded $4 million in bonding money from the State Legislature in 2012 to expand the department's facility.

Matt Hoepner is an instructor for the Medium-Heavy Truck program. He says this industry is very important to the St. Cloud area.

"It's very important to this region/community with how huge the industry is here in town."

Students will now be able to work on full-sized tractor-trailers and trucks with new equipment that they would see in their field of work.

The new addition provides a body shop feel that will be more safe, efficient, and easy to work-and-teach-in.

John Kline is an instructor for the Medium-Heavy Truck Program. He says having this facility gives students an insight into what the job industry is like.

"Now we can actually work on the trucks and give students a better feel for the job they are interested in."

The facility not only works with current students at St. Cloud Technical and Community College, but offer education programs for people already working in the industry.

President Joyce Helens says the facility is not only good for the school, but for the whole community.

"Students will be able to go right out and be hired, continue to contribute to the high placement rate we have, and be prepared to do the job."

There is a waiting list to get into the program, and almost all of their graduates get hired.


Trucks sit in garage of New Medium-Heavy Truck Facility at SCTCC. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)