WAITE PARK -- A St. Cloud area based company is creating its own workforce.

Horizon Roofing has been growing rapidly since the early 2000s. So rapidly that the commercial roofing company has been struggling to find workers to keep up with demands.

Kurt Scepaniak is the President and CEO of Horizon Roofing. Two years ago the company decided to create a training facility in Brooklyn Center to help with the worker shortage.

"That's about 3,000 square feet. That has four different roof areas and actually a sloped area too, so five different roof areas."

With the success of the Brooklyn Center facility, Scepaniak decided to open a training center in  Waite Park this year.

"This training center here (in Waite Park) is 2,500 square feet. So all together we have 5,500 square feet for training."

In each facility, the company can prepare workers for about 90 percent of situations they will see in the field.

"We can also simulate situations like if someone is going to be working on a high rise where there's a small ledge, we can actually bring them in here because in the back area there's a small little ledge. Then we can say okay how are we going to do this safely before they just go out to the project."

The facilities are used to train Horizon employees but the company has also started a free community outreach training for anyone interested in the roofing industry.

"We'll actually bring people in we'll train them depending on the program, three-seven days of training. Then at the of the training, our hope is that we hire 20-25 percent of those people."

Last year, the company hired four of their 12 graduates from the Brooklyn Center facility.

Scepaniak says they pick the best of the best to hire from the community program and the others will likely be hired by another company soon after their training.

"We've trained people that didn't have any construction experience and because of that, they were able to find jobs that they otherwise wouldn't have had before."

Horizon's goal is to have 100 people go through their community outreach training this year. Right now the company is looking at partnering with area schools to grow the program.

"We're working on developing those relationships right now. That would be ideal because then can serve more people."

Horizon Roofing has budgeted about $125,000-150,000 for training operations this year. Each training facility was about $30,000 to build, not including the cost of the actual building structure.

If you're interested in working for Horizon Roofing or joining their community outreach program follow the link below.

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