The Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council’s (PIC) Youth and Young Adult Program, provided career assessment and interpretation opportunities for MACCRAY (11th Grade), Montevideo (11th Grade), Tracy (10th Grade) and Yellow Medicine (10th Grade) students to assist them in exploring their career interests and direct them towards a career pathway this past Fall and recent Spring. Southwest Minnesota has remarkable employment and training opportunities, unfortunately many families and young people are not aware of the possibilities that exist.

Career Assessment and Interpretation experiences are designed to begin the process of increasing students’ awareness about current and future training and employment opportunities through interactive career information and exploration. It also aids students in determining what career to pursue and the steps or pathway to get to their goal. PIC’s youth and young adult division works with employers and educators to assist students with career exploration, career preparation, and skills training that align with the needs of local employers. This is accomplished through a series of work-based learning activities, career focused events and workplace experiences. Providing students with opportunities to experience “real-life” workplaces and employers outside of the classroom is important for their career preparation and for building a pipeline of future Southwest Minnesota skilled workers. As a school-to-career intermediary organization, the PIC can serve as a single point of contact for employers to work with the region’s schools and colleges.

The total number of students impacted between the four schools is 293 students. Each student met individually with PIC staff to: explore their interests, review labor market information, and explore educational and career opportunities. Several of the students had a concrete plan, and the few who did not, will have the opportunity to continue to work with PIC staff and their counselor to learn more. These career assessments are just one opportunity for students to participate in, to learn about their own skills and knowledge, along with local opportunities that match their results.