More than 6,000 jobs are available according to Gail Cruikshank, Talent Director from the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation.  She says approximately 500 of those jobs are in the construction field.  Cruikshank says there are currently limitations for 16 to 18 year old people who'd like to work on construction sites.  She says they are looking to local law makers to help them find ways to get young people started in the construction field early because Cruikshank says if the law doesn't allow young people to start until they are 18 they may lose some of that talent to other careers.

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Gail Cruikshank and Aric Putnam (Photo - Jay Caldwell)
Gail Cruikshank and Aric Putnam (Photo - Jay Caldwell)

Summit Academy trains people for jobs in the construction industry in Minnesota.  Minnesota State Senator Aric Putnam joined Gail Cruikshank and I on WJON today.  He says Summit Academy indicated to him they may be looking to expand their coverage and St. Cloud could be a candidate for expansion. Summit Academy is located in North Minneapolis and provides a 10-week training program.  The program is half classroom and half hands on.  Summit Academy also places those graduating students in jobs.  There is no cost for students to attend.  Money is provided through sponsorships and donations.  Cruikshank says St. Cloud employers are finding employees from this program.  She says this is also an opportunity for St. Cloud to gain population with employees moving to the St. Cloud area to work these jobs.

Putnam says youth build is a good way to get young people interested in the construction industry but he'd like to see it expand from at risk individuals to all individuals.  He says supervision and safety for this profession is important and he's not convinced it is a suitable industry for 16-year olds.

If you'd like to learn more about job opportunities in the St. Cloud area go to  If you'd like to listen to my full conversation with Gail and Aric it is available below.



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