White Bear Area Chamber of Commerce 2019 Hot Jobs & Great Companies

3 White Bear Area Chamber of Commerce F our years ago, White Bear Lake Area Schools (WBLAS) was fortunate to receive a Greater Twin Cities United Way grant that helped create the original WBL Manufacturing Career Pathway. Thanks to the work of faculty, staff, and dedicated industry partners, WBL Career Pathways now focuses on five industries: Construction, Healthcare, Information Technology, Manufacturing, and new this year, Automotive. All of these pathways are experiencing local, statewide, and national workforce shortages. As a result, Career Navigators, Jenny Moore and Michael McGarthwaite, serve three key populations. First, White Bear Lake Area High School (WBLAHS) students are priority number one. Moore and McGarthwaite help students make informed decisions about their career choice and appropriately match post-secondary plans related to their interests and skills. “The WBLAHS Career Pathways Program allows us to extend career exploration opportunities to students of all ability levels and to highlight the many ways to enter the workforce. Students have the opportunity to participate in listening sessions, job shadows, job site tours, and paid internships.” Second, faculty and staff are able to focus on quality instruction and student relationships by receiving additional resources such as industry connections, teacher externships, and grant writing support. Through various grant opportunities, Career Pathways teachers are able to purchase a variety of industry-relevant equipment and curriculum that deepens their classroom instruction. Thanks to the White Bear Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business Education Network, teachers have opportunities to participate in Teacher Externships which connects WBLAS staff to a local employer for a week in the summer to learn more about the industry. WBL Career Pathways also creates and aligns educational opportunities based on the local community’s workforce needs. Career Navigator, Jenny Moore adds, “we value our dedicated community members who are always working to support our school systems. It’s time we support our local business partners by aligning our specific opportunities and connecting our students to the local workforce.” The Gen Z Connections program is a perfect example of how local employers are working together to shape the future. The Gen Z Connections program is a paid, experiential learning opportunity in which students rotate through a variety of employers in the Manufacturing, Engineering, or Automotive industries. For the first time this year, the program expanded to four new Automotive employers, becoming the first Youth Skills Training Automotive Program registered with MN Department of Labor & Industry (DLI). The program is a partnership between Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation (VHEDC), WBLAS, Ramsey County, MN DLI, and the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation. This year, three pods of four employers and four interns rotated through a paid, experiential opportunity. Students also received OSHA 10 Certification and soft skills training. Graduates of the program are learning industry-related skills, filling vacant positions, and gaining knowledge beyond the classroom. Finally, WBL Career Pathways offers their annual WBLAS Career Pathways Expo. Over 60+ employers showcase and demo their company and industry, provide engaging listening sessions, and teach students about a variety of career paths. The annual event also includes the Transition Resource Fair and the Community Volunteer Fair. For more information, visit https://wblahs.isd624. org/academics/career-pathways. Hi-Rez Image Needed WORKING Together TO SHAPE THE Future By Jenny Moore & Michael McGarthwaite