April 6, 2021

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

Bringing Business Tours to the Classroom
Wednesdays this spring at Rushford-Peterson Schools look a little different than a typical school day. Students returned to school four days a week in mid-March, but Rushford-Peterson Schools reserved Wednesdays to be an “At Home / Hybrid Learning Day.” Encouraging students not only to catch up on school work, but also to explore potential careers. Although opportunities are endless - job shadows, interviews of professionals, work experience - we are focusing first on Virtual Tours of local businesses.

Students will get to see what goes on behind the front door of businesses in and around Rushford-Peterson communities. Teachers are selecting which industry and businesses they would like to incorporate into coursework. Career Navigators are working with these businesses to highlight their company and careers for the classroom. Tours of businesses, such as Metz’ Hart-land Creamery in Rushford and Little Gnome in Spring Grove, are recorded and a great resource for all schools. It’s so great to bring local businesses and career options to students, in an accessible, flexible way.

CNA Pathway through Youth Skills 

Training (YST) Grant

27 young people across the Bluff Country Collaborative met with MaryAnne in early March because they wanted to become a CNA. Students were from Caledonia, Houston, La Crescent-Hokah, Lewiston-Altura, Mabel-Canton, and Spring Grove. Rushford-Peterson also has a number of students interested in becoming a CNA and will be having a CNA class within the school in partnership with Good Shepherd Lutheran Home.

Following initial interviews for Southeast Service Cooperative’s CNA Pathway program, select students were given an application and teacher recommendation to complete. With only 15 seats per cohort available, most of the 27 interested students are on the program’s wait list and potential candidates for the second cohort, which will be Spring 2022. Participants in the first cohort of CNA students, beginning Fall 2021, will be announced later in April.

Plan Your Next In-Class Event with Us

To plan hands-on, real-world experiences for your classroom needs, simply email us at BCCNavigators@ssc.coop. We are planning 2021-2022 events and would love to include your classroom. Let us know what you need: guest speaker, job shadows, work experience placement, business tours, interview an employer, presentations for post-secondary options, etc.

Mock Interviews

Experience is a powerful teacher. We are working with business teachers, Teri Larson at Caledonia High School and Jenni Von Arx at La Crescent-Hokah High school to give 55 and 17 students, respectively, the experience of a mock interview. Professionals are invited to volunteer their HR expertise to give students an opportunity to practice interviewing skills. Teri’s and Jenni’s students complete a resume, write a cover letter, and prepare for an interview, all part of post-secondary preparation.

Quick Connect - April 2021

Southeast Service Cooperative has a number of neat professional development opportunities and interesting webinar topics coming up. Definitely take note of virtual professional development offerings in educator relicensure areas: 1.) Reading 101 - The Necessary Reading Components Students Need to Succeed! And 2.) Cultural Competency: A Deeper Dive into Self Reflection and Personal Bias. Here’s a link to April’s Quick Connect to see all the upcoming training and webinars.

Special Announcements
"Emptying the Warehouse" Could Equal Free Equipment for your school's CTE Programs!

Explore The Trades, a St. Paul-based nonprofit focused on bridging the technical talent gap in the service trades, and NexTech Academy, a comprehensive, online technical training program for HVAC, electrical and plumbing technicians, have partnered to “empty the warehouse” to benefit plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical classrooms throughout Minnesota.
All Minnesota high schools that have existing plumbing, HVAC and electrical classes – or those looking to start such classes – are invited to review the program. Further details about the equipment will be announced after April 1, 2021. All equipment was used by NexTech Academy during creation of the curriculum and is no longer needed. All equipment is in excellent shape and was only used for demonstration purposes.
For more information about the project, please contact Kate Cinnamo, executive director of Explore The Trades, at katec@explorethetrades.org or 651-789-8518. Applications are open from April 5-30th.
Tech Month in Minnesota
CareerForce announced last week that April 2021 is Tech Month in Minnesota. Data indicates the trend of well-above-average growth in demand will continue for workers in Information Technology, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Employment Outlook. Think about it. Computer knowledge is required for nearly every job in every industry, whether entry-level or advanced management. See more here.

March 2021 Labor Market Updates are Available
What are current trends in Southeast Minnesota? Check out MN DEED’s Blog and Video Update from Mark Schultz. 
Contact Your Career Navigators: 
MaryAnne Smith &
Nick Wobig

Please reach out to us any time with questions,
suggestions, or just to say "hi". 

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.
April 14
Spring STEM Educator Forum (For more information, please reach out to Sarah Ness)
May 14
Business and Community Partner Celebration

“Elise is working at Kick Marketing. [Dane] gives her real projects to do. She is doing product research on a fly-catching device. She is coming up with plans on how to market it and who the market would be for it. It’s kind of been her baby all along and so [Elise is] getting real-world experience. They meet and talk about what she’s doing, things she can do to continue her work. It’s in our community and something I cannot do for her in the classroom. She is actually seeing marketing in practice. Elise is getting high school credit because it’s part of the work-based learning program."
- Teri Larson, Caledonia

"I’m enjoying being part of this work-based learning experience program.  It’s advantageous for a young person to have a taste of career responsibilities in an area of interest, so that they can make a better decision on a career path.  I feel good that I can help someone with that important choice.
This semester, the timing has been very fortunate.  I have an actual “go-to-market” marketing project for a current client’s retail product (The BugBottler™).   I’ve given Elise various assignments, such as researching the market to determine demand and demographics, as well as how this product compares with competing products.  She has also evaluated the product itself to identify its features, advantages and benefits.  Based on her market research, Elise is currently crafting advertising copy and will be developing a few advertising deliverables (traditional & digital ads) for the product’s eventual launch.   
She’s done an excellent job of really digging into each assignment.  By the end of this semester, Elise will have benefitted from some ‘real life’ marketing that, hopefully, will help her decide whether marketing’s a good career fit for her skills and interests."
-Dane Lamb, Kick Marketing, Caledonia

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