The work to connect area businesses with the future workforce continues with the EPIC program.  EPIC is a community collaborative providing career exploration opportunities for the St. Cloud area future workforce to ensure they identify the career path best aligned for their passions and skill sets.

Gail Cruikshank is the Talent Director of the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation.  Both Cruikshank and Mike Gohman, the President of W Gohman Construction joined me on WJON.  Both were involved in the recent EPIC event in late October where 4,200 10th and 11th grade students from 29 area high schools attended.  Over 300 local employers, community partners and volunteers provided hands on engaging activities and exploration to provide understanding as to what careers may look like.  This event is fully funded by local employers along with a few grants.

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On November 15th EPIC held an event for influencers from 4-7pm at the St. Cloud Tech and Community College.  Influencers are students – parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, counselors, mentors, neighbors, BBBS Bigs, etc...

Gail Cruikshank and Mike Gohman (photo - Jay Caldwell)
Gail Cruikshank and Mike Gohman (photo - Jay Caldwell)

Mike Gohman says the construction industry has changed and doesn't involve the same hard labor that it used to be.  He says EPIC allows for young people to try hands on to see if this is the type of job they can see themselves doing. Gohan says these EPIC events can really be valuable to both students and potentially local employers.

Cruikshank explains that these are high paying jobs and people in our community are really starting to see the opportunities.  She says construction, manufacturing and transportation are typically positions that pay well and are not entry level paying positions.  Cruikshank says often times education needed is limited with many opportunities to train on the job.

With the success of EPIC over the past few years Cruikshank indicates they are now looking for a full-time person to be the EPIC Coordinator.  If you'd like to learn more about jobs available in the St. Cloud area go to  My conversation with Gail and Mike is below.



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