ST. CLOUD -- In a time where we are seeing a skilled worker shortage not only in St. Cloud but in the country as a whole, St. Cloud Technical and Community College is stepping in to bridge that gap.

SCTCC's Customized Training Program has been rapidly growing as more companies are in need of workers.

Tricia Simon is the interim customized training supervisor for SCTCC. She says the program works by connecting the community to education courses through the college as well as through employers.

"Customized Training is a division of the St. Cloud Technical and Community College that's focused on community training. So individuals looking for personal enrichment, such as motorcycle or moped training, it could be first aid, CPR, as well as retirement or simply a course on thriving through change- can take classes here."

Although the classes are facilitated through SCTCC you don't have to be admitted as a student to take them. What happens is you'll pay a course fee or your employer will pay the fee depending on the class. Fees vary for different courses. For example, a first aid and CPR training course coming up later this month is $65.

The training program is divided into five areas, business and IT, health and human services, trades and manufacturing, transportation and fire training.

Simon says one of the largest portions of the program is trades and manufacturing. SCTCC works closely with area manufacturing companies to help get more workers trained.

"We also have weld training going on at C4 Welding and New Flyer. We have geometric dimensioning and tolerancing which deals with engineering standards, we have training going on at DeZURIK for that right now."

Training is done is a variety of ways. Simon says with the ever-changing workforce means they have to provide training in different ways to fit everyone's needs.

"We have training delivered here on site at the college, sometimes specifically with manufacturing, utilizing some of our labs can be very beneficial but we also do on-site training at businesses where we will have our instructor or industry expert go on-site."

Training can also be done on online formats as well.

Simon says learning new concepts, ideas and techniques should never end, regardless if you're in school or have graduated in your field.

"We really all need to embrace life-long learning, how we can improve ourselves, and also keep current with changing technology and customized training is really there to help the community do that."

If you have questions about classes offered, course fees or how to sign up for a course, follow the link below.