Contact Us

Workers Wanted: What St. Cloud Area High Schools Are Doing to Fill the Skills Gap [VIDEO]

Subscribe to AM 1240 WJON on

ST. CLOUD — By some estimates, there could be as many as 31 million open trade jobs in the United States by 2020.

WorkersWanted-630x420Looking at that possibility, a big question becomes, what are our local high schools doing to try and fill that gap?

Lori Posch is the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning for District 742. She says in our area’s largest district, they start the career conversation early.

“We have our preschool students even talking about job opportunities, asking questions about what different jobs do.”

Blake, a student at Apollo Senior High says the district’s early emphasis has given him some great opportunities much later in his school career.

“Experience the fields and go meet different people in the industry and try out different hands-on experiences that you wouldn’t normally get to.”

All three districts have strong partnerships with St. Cloud State University and St. Cloud Technical and Community College. Part of those partnerships involve former students coming back to share their experiences with current students.

Sartell Tech Ed Teacher Nick Phillips says the former students give great advice and insight to the current ones.

“We’ve also got student’s coming back and giving information – that’s better information than I can give – that are maybe one or two year college bound. And some that are going straight into the trades.”

Erich Martens is the Principal of Sauk Rapids – Rice High School. He says in their district they focus on painting as clear of a picture as possible.

“Really wanting to make sure that there is a seamless transition and that there is a very understandable continuum of courses that is going to help our students be prepared [for whatever field they go in].”

Sauk Rapids-Rice also brings in industry experts to instruct and teach their students, ensuring they’re as ready as possible before leaving school.

All three districts work closely with industry partners, to ensure they have the most up to date equipment for students to work with. Projects can then mirror the ones in their chosen field as closely as possible.

School districts in our area are doing a lot to ensure students have the best opportunities possible to be successful.

This story is part of the “Tour of Manufacturing.”

The annual “Tour of Manufacturing” is on September 30th  and October 7th. It’s your chance to tour several area manufacturers, and see the opportunities they present. There’s also a chance for scholarships from St. Cloud Technical and Community College and St. Cloud State University.

Photo: Richard Leguil, WJON
Photo: Richard Leguil, WJON

Best of WJON

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for The WJON VIP Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive The WJON VIP Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.