ST. CLOUD -- A group of St. Cloud Tech wood-shop students received a special recognition Tuesday for their efforts towards the Minnesota YouthBuild program.

The Stearns-Benton Employment & Training Council and Minnesota WorkForce Center awarded six students a certificate for completing the first series of training workbooks designed by the Carpenters International Training Funds.

Senior Eric Niehaus says the program really gives student a taste of the workforce while learning in the classroom.

"I learned about shingling, sheeting walls, putting up siding, working on framing and I just enjoyed every minute of it," says Niehaus.

This is the third season of the Youthbuild partnership with St. Cloud Tech and Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity.

Instructor Bill Garceau says not only has the program been successful but gives students a since of pride when the work is finished.

"I love when students have an interest in construction, because that's my passion too. Just about every kid that goes through my program ends up with a career somewhere in the construction field," says Garceau.

The Minnesota YouthBuild program trains individuals ages 16-24 in construction as well as provide a comprehensive array of services.

The class is wrapping up construction on a six-bedroom home which stands in the parking lot on the corner of Division Street and 14th Avenue.

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