November 4, 2020

Career Navigator News is a biweekly newsletter from your Career Navigators, MaryAnne Smith and Nick Wobig.

Students with a Vision

We have been working with our schools for about two months now, and we have gathered feedback from over 200 students on their career aspirations. With almost 1/3 of students leaning toward a career in health care, we are busy working with area hospitals, clinics, and skilled nursing facilities to join FutureForward™ and work with these students to give them real world examples and experiences of what it's like working in health care. 
This goes for other career paths as well. 13% of students are interested in a career in the trades, 6% in education, and 14% are undecided, and THAT'S OKAY! We are working closely with these students and their teachers in identifying what their strengths and interests are, using information from MCIS, and setting up informational interviews with professionals from different industries. 
This information is still being collected - School faculty, please encourage your students to complete the survey sent to you by MaryAnne. If you would like the link again, please let us know. 

Following Student Interests 

Job Shadows have been valuable experiences for students to explore careers. Six seniors at Rushford-Peterson High School met with Career Navigators and discussed post-high school plans. As part of Senior Seminar Class with Joel Hinke, students were given contact information for a job shadow or informational interview. If you could hear the excitement, curiosity, and hope for the future, you would be inspired. Career pathways that students have expressed interest in exploring include photography, nursing, criminal justice, environmental law, sports management, automotive mechanics, therapy, teaching, welding and many, many more.

Mabel-Canton will be taking a different approach to career exploration, making it a school-wide initiative. Students will participate in a live Q & A virtual meeting each week with a different professional. Using flex time instead of classroom time, students will watch a career video from FutureForward™ and write questions to the professional on Monday. The professional guest speaker will answer those questions and more during a live Zoom Q & A on Tuesday. We are piloting this format for Quarter 2, starting November 9. Please encourage individuals to sign up through FutureForward™ or contact us directly to get involved.

Spring Grove seniors are well on their way to confidently answering, “What is your plan for next year?” Seniors in Shelly Anderson’s Personal Finance class use their virtual learning day to meet with Carer Navigators. We discuss post-high school plans and identify industries of interest. Their next class assignment is preparing for mock interviews on November 18. The idea is to pair students with a professional in a field of interest and encourage students to use industry-specific language. This professional can provide valuable, industry-specific feedback. This experience is posted in FutureForward™ with space for 27 professionals. Networking is a valuable soft skill and a perk of mock interviews for both professionals and students.

Deciding between locations or job offers was the next lesson for Robbie Sobczak’s Senior Seminar class. Five seniors at Caledonia discussed budgets last week with us. We explored MN DEED’s website, looked at cost of living and compared scenarios of location and family size. I enjoyed hearing opinions from students of future plans, based on classroom scenarios and discussions.

Youth Skills Training Grant

Southeast Service Cooperative is applying for a Youth Skills Training (YST) grant in December with the goal of creating a regional approach to students getting a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) certification. With one out of three students interested in health care as a career field, focusing on a CNA pathway is an obvious first choice. Partners on this project include several area skilled nursing facilities, SE Tech, WDI, and two dozen high schools in the greater SE MN area. Six schools in Bluff Country Collaborative are more than eager to see certification opportunities for students. Registration opens in spring and the program begins in Fall 2021.

Virtual Tours and Interviews

We continue to get interest from businesses in working with us and joining FutureForward™. We had the opportunity to visit Metz's Hart-Land Creamery in Rushford recently and got some fantastic information from professionals on what it's like running a successful dairy farm and creamery. We talked with owners Jeff and Mariann Metz and they led us on a tour of their facilities and provided great insight on "value added" when it comes to farming. 
We also visited Flex Craft in Houston and got to see a manufacturing facility from raw material to finished, customized products. Visiting with Flex Craft staff was a great opportunity, and several of their staff are continuing to work with us on other projects, including talking with students on careers in welding and how to prepare for an interview. 
Visit FutureForward™ to see these interviews and tours.

Resources to Share
Training on Poverty - October 22 and November 19
Learn about the impact of poverty on student success and what can be done to support students experiencing poverty. This is a two-day training, held virtually. October 22 and November 19. Grant dollars can reimburse schools for sub costs (if applicable).

Email Brian Cashman for more information and to register:

STEM Forward Virtual Fall Educator Forum - November 4
Join us for an amazing peer-to-peer learning opportunity that highlights STEM lessons and activities taking place in our classrooms and in hybrid/distance learning environments in southeast Minnesota that you can replicate immediately! This Fall's Educator Forum will be taking place virtually via Zoom, on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, from 4:30 to 8:00pm. There is no charge for STEM Forward members to participate in this event. Click here to register
Contact Your Career Navigators: 
MaryAnne Smith &
Nick Wobig
We are very excited to have things rolling and look forward to what we can achieve as a collaborative. 
Please don't hesitate to reach out to us at any time.

Thank you all, 
MaryAnne Smith: 507-251-4388
Nick Wobig: 507-273-9661
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November 19
Southern MN Perkins Consortia Poverty Training

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