To respond to a skilled labor shortage that is impacting manufacturers in west-central Minnesota, Dunwoody College of Technology has partnered with MOVE, LLC (Manufacturing Opportunities for Vocational Employment) to create a Corporate and Community Training Center (CCTC) in Winsted.

Industry leaders contacted the College’s Work Force Training & Continuing Education department last December, saying the area was in dire need of skilled welders and CNC machine operators. They stressed that a skilled workforce was crucial to help companies grow their businesses and meet the manufacturing demands of their customers.

MOVE is made up of over 12 local manufacturers that have committed to providing employment opportunities with a good wage and benefits for successful graduates from the 16-week training program.  

This fall, 12 students will be admitted for a one-semester Welding Technician program. A second welding class will follow in March 2015. A 16-week CNC Machine Operator program is being considered for 2015-2016. Class sizes will be small with an emphasis on hands-on, applied learning utilizing customized curriculum focusing on the skills needed by the local manufacturing companies.

The industry-recognized, non-credit training programs provide a local alternative to the traditional two-year and four-year post-secondary college pathways.  They allow recent high school graduates or other adult learners the opportunity to stay in the immediate area while enrolled in training during the day--minimizing transportation and housing costs they’d accrue by leaving the west-central region.

Enrollment for the first welding program is currently open and classes are scheduled to begin on Sept. 15. The former NAPA Auto Parts building in downtown Winsted, owned by Millerbernd Manufacturing, is being converted into the Dunwoody CCTC, and within the next month signage will reflect the new name.

The goal of the CCTC is to provide a pool of skilled workers, reduce hiring and training costs for new employees, and support the industry’s immediate and future needs through customized curriculum.

An information session open to the community will take place at the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria. Enrollment will be based on a first-come, first-served basis. Local manufacturers looking to hire graduates from these programs will also be present.

For more information, visit http://www.dunwoody.edu/wtce/corporate-community-training-center/ or email dkerrigan@dunwoody.edu.