Grant to help Cirrus train skilled workers

By KBJR News 1

September 12, 2013 Updated Sep 12, 2013 at 6:42 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Finding the right people for the job has been a challenge for some Northland Businesses, especially those in aviation.

"Cirrus is obviously looking to hire they are hiring now if you see the billboard signs," said Pat Johns, president of Lake Superior College.

Which is why the company has partnered with SOAR Career Solutions and Lake Superior College to get workers the training they need.

"The Minnesota Job Skills Partnership program provides funding for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and for non-profits to partner with businesses so we can train the people to have the necessary job skills for the industries to grow and in our area it's currently manufacturing," said Sara Romagnoli, program director for SOAR.

The grant will allow people who qualify, a chance to train on aviation assembly in the classroom and on site at Cirrus.

"They will be trained on aircraft terminology, air craft structures, composites, working with various materials that go into the aircraft and assembly procedures as well as safety along with regulations that go along with the assembly of the air craft," said Bill Gundersen, who developed the training for the program.

Leaders of the program hope to get 60-80 students enrolled throughout the five quarters.
They say the Northland manufacturing industry is experiencing a skills gap, and hopes the grant will help off–set that.

"Some of the manufacturing companies that we have been in contact with are in a vacuum. They have more orders than they have workers, skilled workers; and that is where these types of trainings come in to play so we can fulfill those needs," said Jason Beckman, career specialist at SOAR.

Training for the program will start in October.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.
kanderson@kbjr.com