ST. CLOUD -- Senator Al Franken toured the health care training facilities at St. Cloud Technical and Community College on Friday.

During the visit, Senator Franken -- who is the Chairman of the Senate Rural Health Caucus, led a roundtable discussion with area health care leaders on what needs to be done in order to have enough trained workers to fill job openings in the coming years.

"I visit a lot of community and technical colleges that are training people for fields where this is a 'skills gap' -- like in advanced manufacturing and health care," Franken says.

Franken says the "skills gap" refers to the millions of jobs in America that are currently open because employers can't find applicants who are qualified.

To close the "skills gap", Franken says he is proposing a piece of legislation called The Community College to Career Fund Act.

"[If] a program needs more room, more sophisticated technology, or more instructors," Franken says. "[The bill] would provide funding through a competitive grant program where you apply for a grant and you say why your program will create more jobs and how it would help the community."

"When people in the medical field are training and going to school, they should be using the same technology that's being used in the field," Franken says. "That obviously just makes sense."


Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON