Posted at: 09/21/2012 4:09 PM
Updated at: 09/21/2012 5:36 PM
By: Gordon Severson
Construction Begins on New Workforce Development Center
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- After several years of hard work, community leaders are finally breaking ground on a new Workforce Development Center in Rochester.
The most important aspect of this new center is its location.
It will be attached to the Heintz Center near RCTC.
Area leaders say the proximity to campus will create an innovative partnership with students.
"When you bring those things together you're doing the right thing at the right time at the right place. That place today is Rochester Minnesota," Senator Dave Senjem says.
It took nearly a decade to get the $8.7 million to build the center, as well as help from colleges, businesses, and half a dozen politicians.
"Our people, the human resource is the greatest asset Minnesota has in restoring our jobs and the economy," says Representative Mike Benson.
The 28,700 square foot building will be built on the Heintz Center’s East side.
Putting it less than a block away from thousands of students.
"The state has shown that 70% of the jobs that are going to be grown between now and 2020 are going to require some higher education," Workforce Development Center Executive Director Randy Johnson says.
It's one thing to hear that message, but even better when you get to see it in action.
That's where the last speaker, John Hahn came in.
"When I started out I ended up making some bad choices and going to jail for about a year. When I got out I didn't know what to do," says Hahn.
A few months later Hahn ran into an employee from the workforce center. Who helped him find a job and an employer who would help him get an education.
"I'm in my 4th semester now and will be graduating this December," Hahn says.
It’s the perfect example of how this important partnership will work.
Construction on the new workforce center will start next Spring.
Administrators hope to have it open to the public by July of 2014.