March 1, 2021

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

New to FutureFroward™ January 1 - March 1

Joseph O'Koren, Manion - O'Koren Law
Jessi Strinmoen, Shooting Star Native Seeds
Steve Oian, MiEnergy Cooperative
Samantha Grabau, Harmony Ambulance Service
Amanda Ninneman, The Wired Rooster Coffee Shop
John DeGeorge, Fillmore County Sheriff's Office
Chris Hahn, Fillmore County Economic Development Authority
Cheryl Rasmussen, Valley View
Ali Bram, Rushford State Bank
Sarah Mann, Sweet 16 Farm
Emily Scoville, LAX Fabricating
Rick Ronan, LAX Fabricating
Amy Molling, Caledonia Haulers

YST Grant is a GO!

At the end of last year, we applied for a Youth Skills Training (YST) grant through the Department of Labor and Industry to start a CNA Pathway Program for our schools. In collaboration with the other career navigators, multiple regions, skilled nursing facilities, and so many other wonderful partners, we were selected as one of 11 programs to be awarded. More details will be sent to our schools as it becomes available, but we can certainly start the celebrations now!

Career Fairs Went Virtual

Like so many events this year, the Bluff Country Collaborative Career Fair moved virtual. With more than 60 sessions to choose from, 250 students across the BCC signed up to attend. Topics ranged from Emergency Medical Services to Entrepreneurship, and from manufacturing to childcare. Thank you to the schools of Caledonia, La Crescent-Hokah, Mabel-Canton, Rushford-Peterson, and Spring Grove, Principals, HS Counselors, and teachers who promoted and participated. Events like this are successful when education and community leaders work together. Thank you!

For a complete list of professionals and companies who participated in the BCC Career Fair and other BCC projects, click here. Consider sharing videos like these with students in your classroom, for extra credit, or as additional resources for undecided students. Reach out to us at for more information or assistance. We encourage you to reach out to these local professionals for classroom presentations, company tours, or informational interviews conducted by students.

Several presenters recorded their career fair session(s), which are found on their FutureForward™ profiles. Capitalizing on video resources in FutureFroward™, Houston Public Schools held a Career Day for all 7-12th grade students. Each teacher showed a content-related video housed in FutureForward™. Videos were either a recorded career fair session or informational interview. All 16 career clusters were available and the 222 students watched their top three picks.

Students Are Engaging on FutureForward™

Students in Jenni Von Arx’s business class at La Crescent-Hokah High School explored FutureForward™ last week. They practiced searching for professionals. The search feature in FutureForward™ enables students (and educators) to locate professionals in a specific career field. Later this semester, these students will conduct informational interviews and go on job shadows. Networking is just one way students can use FutureForward™ for career-connected learning.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

On May 14th, Southeast Service Cooperative and the Career Navigator team will be hosting a Thank You Event to recognize our community and business partners. Without their support, our school districts would not be where they are today with their use of FutureForward™. The experiences hosted by our business partners have included informational interviews, mock interviews, mentorships, work-based learning, and virtual career fairs. The support from our community partners has also been invaluable. From Workforce Development Inc. to our friends at local chambers of commerce, our support system is immense and still growing. Keep an eye out for more information on this event. We are really looking forward to it!


Post-Secondary Month Events

March is Post-Secondary Month! We are highlighting different options students have after high school. We have representatives from 2- and 4-year colleges, trades, apprenticeships, and military to present live and recorded informational sessions using the FutureForward™ platform. Log on to FutureForward™ and click on “Search Experiences” to find what events and resources are available.

Special Announcements

Governor Walz announced that February 2021 was to be celebrated as CTE Month throughout Minnesota. To show our appreciation for our CTE teachers, gift bags were delivered to each school. These gift bags were sponsored by Fastenal, Wieser Brothers General Contractors, Rushford Foods, and Spring Grove Soda Pop. We'd like to thank our CTE teachers again. We know your work goes far beyond one month. Thank you all!!!

BCCNavigators on Facebook

Reminder to follow us on Facebook. Send us requests to follow your school and community organizations and events. Career-connected learning takes a village!

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
Please know that if you opt out of these communications, you will no longer receive any emails from SSC.
Post-Secondary Month
Hospitality Month
May 14
Community and Business Partner Thank You Event

"There's a lot of different ways you can use the benefits [of ROTC] to better yourself."
- Captain Cody Colson, C.H. Robinson & US Army Reserves
"You can do yourself a favor and go beyond what the instructor tells you and dig in; do reading, do research on your own." 
- Ken Wickelgren, RCTC Law Enforcement Instructor
"They spend two years working for us part time and going to school. Upon graduation, we guarantee them a full time job, and we start paying back their tuition and books."
- Willie Lubahn, Fastenal
"This is a big reason for why I do what I do: to connect people to an agricultural experience."
- Sarah Mann, Sweet 16 Farm
"Being able to employ your local community is always a plus. People are always grateful for that. There's a lot of ways to see your impact." 
- Amanda Ninneman, The Wired Rooster Coffee Shop
"I want a job that isn't just going to work. I want it to be something that makes a difference, and it does. I know it does because I've seen it." 
- Sheriff John DeGeorge, Fillmore County Sheriff's Office
"We learn just as if we were kids and we learn just as if we were teachers." 
- Stacey York, RCTC Early Childhood Care and Education Instructor
"I think it's fantastic that kids are wanting to explore the EMS role because there's not a whole lot of volunteers, and it's a very rewarding job." 
- Samantha Grabau, Harmony Ambulance Service
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