Pine Technical and Community College’s new WorkFast Training program has received more funding from Pine County following its popularity.
In an update during the October 20 county board meeting, PTCC President Joe Mulford said they have recieved around 100 applicants since announcing the program in September.
"I'm not sure that we appreciated the amount of demand was going to be there," Mulford told the Pine County Commissioners. "You just don't know going into this stuff, and I've just been blown away by how much demand there is."
The program was formed to help Pine County residents get training so they can re-enter the job market or get a better paying job within their company.
The initial success of the Workfast Program drew praise from the County Board.
"It's a testimony to a small college that cares about their area and can really turn on a dime and see a need," said Board Chair Steve Hallan.
PTCC offered six certificate programs: Basic Welding, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Business Computer Applications, Basic Shop & Safety, and Auto Technician Certificate. Of those programs, Mulford said they saw a huge demand for the CNA program, which had been expanded once prior to the additional funding.
On top of offering free tuition, the original $120,000 in funding PTCC received from the Cares Act allowed the college to provide students with basic tools and protective equipment.
Mulford went on to ask the county board for additional Cares Act funding to further expand the program. As a response, the Pine County Board approved using $76,000 additional unspent by Care Act funds to provide three extra sessions for the program.