A GenZ Connections class of 11 White Bear Lake, MN, Area Schools (WBLAS)’ Career Pathways students – four automotive and seven manufacturing – celebrated the completion of the six-week internship program on July 22 at Buerkle Automotive Group in Saint Paul, MN.
The number of industry partners this summer grew to 12 – four automotive and eight manufacturing firms.
To meet the need for a skilled workforce in a variety of fields, WBLAS’ Career Pathways program includes manufacturing, healthcare, IT and trades. The automotive pathway was recently added. “Students enrolled in Career Pathway classes learn industry-specific skills and, in some courses, may earn free college credit and industry-recognized credentials,” said Jenny Moore, career navigator.
“The Career Pathways program helps students – and their parents – make informed decisions about post-secondary education and career choices, choices that assist with their future investment. Students have a wide variety of opportunities within the construction, manufacturing and automotive industries such as class instruction, industry-recognized credentials, paid internships, job shadowing, job site tours and additional on-and off-campus opportunities. All of these examples continue to support the need for a skilled workforce.”
Growing a skilled workforce for the Northeast Metro area has been a team-effort since 2017. That year Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation (VHEDC), White Bear Lake Area Schools (WBLAS), Ramsey County, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, local industry partners and White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation partnered to create the GenZ Connections paid-internship program – to fine-tune the career goals of high school students and to grow a strong and sustainable workforce. That first summer class consisted of four students and four manufacturing firms.
“We’re proud to be a part of this program that enriches the career paths of students in the White Bear Lake Area School District,” said Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Liz Moscatelli.
The GenZ 2019 graduating class of interns (high school juniors and seniors) included automotive pathway students: Angelo Gambino, Sam Sperry, Dean Isakson and Dante Mahmood; and manufacturing pathway students Harris Brekke, Kevin Lundgren, Jackie Vallejo, Andre Keller, Gavin Tschida, Kajuan Ramsey and Esteban Garrido Perez.