ST. CLOUD -- Local kids are getting some hands on working experience with the help of CentraCare Health.

Over the next few weeks 60 at-risk youth will assist the grounds crew at the hospital as part of the summer work program CareerONE 2015.

CentraCare President Ken Holmen says the program helps give kids learn the tools they will need as they go through life.

"We are taking kids from different parts of the cities, different backgrounds, and having them work together and they learn first hand how to trust their neighbor and colleague to work together," says Holmen.

Along with working at the hospital they kids will also do jobs at the CentraCare Health Plaza and St. Benedict's Senior Community.

Holmen says when they thought about starting the program they knew working with the Minnesota WorkForce Center was the perfect match.

"They were a natural partner of ours and we reached out to them. They have the resources and have great mentors for kids," says Holmen.

The program is funded by the state, CentraCare Health and United Way of Central Minnesota.

David Larson is the Director of Facilities Management at CentraCare Health. He says the students not only learn life lessons and different job skills, but will also receive $1,000 to put towards their college education.

"This program we hope just begins to show them what they could see in a job in health care and learn to work as a team and working with some of our leaders," says Larson.

"We owe it to each generation to be part of a context for them to be successful and to continue to grow and mature," says Holmen.

The WorkForce Center has been providing summer opportunities for youth since 2000.

Students cleaning up the bushes around CentraCare Health. (Photo: Tim Johnson, CentraCare Health)