In 2017 the Minnesota State Legislature set up a Workforce Development Scholarship (WFDS) pilot program to encourage high school students to enter high-demand career fields. Seven programs at St. Cloud Technical & Community College were deemed high-demand with workforce shortages. Those programs were CNC Advanced Machining, Computer Aided Design, Computer Programming, Health Information Technology, Paramedicine, Network Administration, and Welding and Fabrication.
SCTCC received a designation of up to 14 $2500 scholarships to award to high school students or first year students enrolled in any of the seven above named programs.
In addition, four manufacturing companies in the St. Cloud area demonstrated their commitment to meeting workforce shortages by supplementing the $2500 scholarships with an extra $1000. C4 Welding, Park Industries, Rotochopper, and Talon Innovations each donated an additional $2,500 to add further incentive to students considering careers in manufacturing fields. These scholarships will be awarded in June.
“At Rotochopper we are committed to sustainability, including the sustainability of our local economies. That is why we are committed to the education and career opportunities for the people of central Minnesota,” said Angie Brick, Director of Community Relations at Rotochopper. “This scholarship partnership shows the importance of skilled trade education, manufacturing, and our community. We’re proud to be a part of it!”
A committee reviewed applications and selected the scholarship recipients. “We had a great time awarding the scholarships”, said Scott Wallner, Director of K-12 initiatives at SCTCC. “In many cases, the parents were notified ahead of time and invited to attend the check presentation. The winners were notified with a surprise visit from us at their school or place of employment.”
“It was fun to see the surprised students seeing their parents and then learning they received a very substantial scholarship. It was fun to do!” said Wallner.