FAIRMONT, Minn., Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Fairmont Area Schools is pleased to announce that CHS Processing and Food Ingredients is donating $100,000 towards the implementation of a Construction Trades Academy at Fairmont High School, located in south central Minnesota.
"Fairmont Area Schools is greatly appreciative of the generous donation from CHS as we work toward our goal to construct an 80 x 100-foot building," says Joseph Brown, superintendent of schools. "This building will be the core of our year-round Construction Trades Academy. It will provide our students with the space they need to build homes for Habitat for Humanity and to construct agricultural buildings."
Brown views receipt of this large donation as a classic example of the private sector and the public sector working collaboratively together to build a better future for Minnesota. "Students need a pathway for skilled jobs and the private sector needs skilled workers. Together, this partnership will be a model for other high schools and businesses that are working together to provide greater opportunities for their schools and their community," says Brown.
Representatives of CHS toured the vocational wing of Fairmont High School on the first day of school, September 3, 2019 and were very impressed with the vision of Fairmont Area Schools in developing the Agriculture Academy, Welding Academy, Automotive Academy and the future Construction Trades Academy. CHS operates a soybean processing plant one mile west of Fairmont.
"The proposed Fairmont High School Building Trades Academy demonstrates an innovative, inclusive approach that will help students prepare for a variety of skilled trade positions," says Tom Malecha, CHS senior vice president, Processing and Food Ingredients. "CHS proudly supports many rural youth educational and leadership programs, and the Fairmont High School project aligns with our intention to work together for shared success and to strengthen our communities."
Over the next 48 months, Minnesota needs to replace over 200,000 skilled workers due to baby boomers retiring from a wide range of vocations. Multiple high schools in south central Minnesota have expanded their vocational programs, including Fairmont, Kasson-Mantorville, Hutchinson, St. Peter, New Ulm and Redwood Valley.
Brandon Nordstrom, plant manager at the CHS Fairmont soybean processing plant, knows firsthand the importance of a skilled workforce. "CHS is excited to work with local educators and other companies to bring this important curriculum to our students," says Nordstrom. "Growing, vibrant businesses depend on a steady source of qualified applicants that are fully prepared to get good jobs in our community."
CHS Inc. (CHSCP) (www.chsinc.com) is a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. Diversified in energy, agronomy, grains and foods, CHS is committed to helping its customers, farmer-owners and other stakeholders grow their businesses through its domestic and global operations. CHS supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain marketing services, animal feed, food and food ingredients along with financial and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries/pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex® brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products.