Established as a church painting business in 1946, Mid-Continental Restoration Co., Fort Smith, Kan., grew over the next half-century to become one of the leading U.S. contractors in masonry repair and restoration, waterproofing, and new masonry construction. Key to the company’s success is a stable workforce of skilled craftsmen that restore state and federal buildings, historic monuments and structures, schools and churches, hospitals, state-of-the-art skyscrapers, and modern commercial buildings.

By 1998, employee-owned Mid-Continental’s growth become so significant that it was short of workers at skilled levels. In 1999 the company didn’t have the luxury of waiting to replenish its base of skilled workers and decided to offer specialized skills training in-house. The program was an immediate success.

As word spread, Fort Scott Community College approached Mid-Continental about offering the training program in its technical school . The two now collaborate on an intensive two-week program teaching basic masonry restoration skills.