Growing Area Talent Through High School Youth

Mankato Area Public Schools (MAPS) is increasing career pathway exploration by encouraging students to participate in Work-Based Learning opportunities. All high school youth are eligible to participate in activities to explore and refine skills through this unique form of learning outside the classroom. We are excited that so many local businesses have opened their doors to help youth discover and explore their futures! Our options in work-based learning provide “layered learning” for students who need additional experiences to help shape their decisions. Some of these options are listed below; additionally, employers can choose from an array of 12 partnership opportunities by completing this survey:

Individualized Career Exploration Experiences

MAPS students are encouraged to participate in exploration opportunities before extended work-based learning. Below are some of the unique ways that employers can showcase their careers and companies:

Job Shadows

A traditional 1:1 shadowing experience exploring a specific career. Students provide their own transportation.

Career Interviews

A virtual shadowing experience for 1-3 students in a career field.

Career Forums

Employers visit the high school site to share information with a small group of students (2-10) who have identified a specific career pathway of interest.

Lunch & Learns

Targeted group of students who visit multiple industries and post-secondary instiutions throughout the year to learn about career fields and programming.

Mini Site Tours

Small groups of students (2-7) who have identified an area of interest tour a company to learn more.

Note: Other exploration opportunities for students include Classroom Speakers and Classroom Field Trips

Work Experience

MAPS believes that work empowers students to build career skills (soft skills) and knowledge to be quality employees and citizens. Students earn credits for their employment. Students are required to take a Career Planning course prior or in conjunction with their work. This is available for any student in grades 9-12.

Career Internship

A Career Internship is a paid or unpaid experience taking a deeper dive into a student’s area of interest. Students earn high school credits through this model by taking career pathway coursework and then applying that skill and knowledge at a worksite helping them gain skills and experiences. An example of a career internship is our partnership with Mayo Clinic Health System. Mayo Clinic Health System Explorers are students who take a full semester to learn about a wide variety of healthcare careers by working in several departments in the Mankato Mayo Clinic Health System facility. From nursing to pharmacy, lab tech to information technology, students are seeing how their talents and interests can be applied almost anywhere. Students attend weekly seminars at the school to build their resumes and portfolios.

YOUTH APPRENTICESHIPS

These full-year or multi-year opportunities are for students who are highly motivated to work in a field. Currently, our youth apprenticeship programs are in Advanced Manufacturing. An example is our YEAP partnership (Youth Employment Acceleration Program). Students work for up to 2 years at a company, learning the various roles and responsibilities within the organization. MTU Onsite Energy, EI Microcircuits, Kato Cable, and Lindsay Window and Door are YEAP partners providing opportunities for students to take a direct hands-on approach to learning about the field of advanced manufacturing.

Last year–even with COVID–approximately 250 students participated in a work-based learning experience in the district. This number will likely grow as students move toward taking their learning in new directions and businesses continue to look for talent and consider why training the youngest of employees can benefit their organization. Through these experiences, students are developing a network of support that can help them long after they graduate. Students taking advantage of any of the work-based learning options are building their personal toolkit to be career, college, and life ready. 

Thank you for your interest in learning more about partnership opportunities at MAPS, and again, if you are interested in partnering with MAPS, please complete the survey below.

On Being a Successful Business in an Everchanging World

bison.jpgThe following is a guest blog post authored by Scot Zellmer. Scot is one of the organizers that worked on behalf of adoption and recognition by the City of Mankato of Indigenous Peoples Day. His post speaks to the importance of ensuring our community adopts a “wide range of inclusive and affirming business practices” in order to attract and retain the talent we’ll need to fuel our economy. Continue reading “On Being a Successful Business in an Everchanging World”

Individuals with Refugee and Asylee Status in the Workforce: What Employers Need to Know

2018_Forum SeriesRegister now for a luncheon workshop on August 8 – Individuals with Refugee and Asylee Status in the Workforce: What Employers Need to Know. 

Individuals with refugee and asylee status are able to work without restrictions from the start of their time in the U.S. However, it can be complicated for employers and individuals to understand the process and the documents that the government provides and uses for the I-9. Given the workforce shortages we’re experiencing across the region, it’s essential that employers are equipped to employ the entire talent pool available to them. To help employers navigate these issues, Greater Mankato Growth is hosting this workshop with experts from the State of Minnesota’s Office of Resettlement Programs and the Minnesota Council of Churches. At this event, employers and hiring managers will gain a much better understanding of the rules and procedures surrounding employing refugees and asylees. There will also be time for Q&A so that you can get your most pressing questions answered.

Wednesday, August 8
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
ISG (115 E. Hickory St., Suite 300), 3rd Floor Conference Room

You can register and get more information HERE. Continue reading “Individuals with Refugee and Asylee Status in the Workforce: What Employers Need to Know”

The Workforce Series (2): Hiring Refugees & Asylees

workforce blog seriesAs part of the Greater Mankato Growth Talent Initiative, GMG is publishing a guest blog series highlighting the programs, tools and resources that are available in our marketplace. This series can serve as a catalog or library for businesses to address workforce issues. 

Refugees & Asylees Have The Right To Work

Written by: Margo Druschel: Associate Director, Minnesota Council of Churches

Refugees and Asylees Have the Right to Work…but it can be complicated for employers and individuals to understand the documents that the government provides and uses for the I-9.

The Refugee Employment Services staff of the Minnesota Council of Churches Refugee Services Office would like to offer some answers to FAQs and to offer ourselves as resources.  We recently attended a workshop offered by the US Department of Justice Immigrant and Employee Rights Section of the Office for Civil Rights, where many questions were answered. Continue reading “The Workforce Series (2): Hiring Refugees & Asylees”

Uncovering the Job Gap

Facing my last semester as a senior (second year) in college I was facing thee question, what next? Time for reality, a full-time “grown-up” job was hopefully coming my way very, very soon. But how was I going to find it? For an anthropology major I maybe should have dissected the career opportunities and employment potential a little further, but none-the-less I was determined to land a job as, get this – an archeologist.

Continue reading “Uncovering the Job Gap”

Yes, it IS worth your time!

Last Wednesday 43 participants graduated from Greater Mankato Growth’s Leadership Institute. Each year a graduation dinner is held on the last day to honor the participants’ hard work and dedication to the nine-month program. One of my favorite parts of this event is when class members volunteer to speak about their experiences and observations. One class member, Elisabeth Moat, Manager of the Mankato AmericInn presented a very eloquent and heart-felt testimonial about her experience and agreed to share it on this blog. If you’ve ever considered applying for the program, or if you are a graduate of Leadership Institute, it IS worth your time to read on and according to Elisabeth, it IS worth your time to participate in the program! Continue reading “Yes, it IS worth your time!”

Share your thoughts about Mankato Area Public Schools

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Photo Credit: Mankato Area Public Schools

The Mankato Area Public Schools are asking for the public to share their perspective on how our schools are doing and contribute to an ongoing dialogue on how the community can work together to improve the education experience for all of our students. Continue reading “Share your thoughts about Mankato Area Public Schools”

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

ADA SeminarGreater Mankato Growth is proud to partner with the Department of Social Work at Minnesota State University, Mankato for a special viewing of the live Twin Cities Public Television airing of The ADA at 25: Minnesota Moving Forward on Wednesday, October 28 as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Continue reading “October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month”

Another cool list we appear on…

Community leaders knew when we formed Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. in 2007 we were certainly taking a more unique approach to regional, community based business development.  But I’m not sure we realized the name we selected would be viewed as far reaching, future positioning and trend setting as it appears to be.  We are delighted Christina Green chose to call us out and place us on the list in her current blog post “Chamber of Commerce”: What’s in a Title…thanks for the kudo’s!  Read her full post:  http://frankjkenny.com/chamber-of-commerce-whats-in-a-title/