Training room expansion planned in Blaine

The Anoka County Board has awarded a contract to expand the economic assistance department employee training room at the Anoka County Human Services Center in Blaine.

On the recommendation of its Finance and Capital Improvements Committee, the board approved a bid from RAK Construction, Ham Lake, in the amount of $27,048.

According to Jerry Vitzthum, director of economic assistance, the project will enlarge the fourth-floor training room.

“This expansion is needed to accommodate larger groups of new hires,” Vitzthum wrote in a memo to the Finance and Capital Improvements Committee.

Classroom training for the financial assistance specialists takes three and a half months and training requires computer stations for each person as the county and state records are electronic, he wrote.

The current training room, which has five work stations for new hires, will be expanded to allow for 11 work stations for trainees, Vitzthum wrote.

“There is space that is directly available outside of the room,” he said.

“This will allow the department to have fewer training groups per year and will reduce time spent on training.”

According to Vitzthum, this training space is also needed to train existing staff in a hands-on setting for program changes and refresher training for identified error prone policies.

Funding for the project, which had an estimated cost of $26,500, will come from food support incentive dollars received by the county and federal match dollars, Vitzthum said.

County Commissioner Matt Look, chairman of the Finance and Capital Improvements Committee, said the project will increase efficiency and make the training process “leaner and meaner.”

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]