The Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council Inc. (PIC) has been awarded local funds by the U.S. Bank Community Foundation in the amount of $15,000 to provide career advisory and work-based learning opportunities and experiences in partnership with education and industry for youth 14-24 living in Marshall, MN and nearby communities within a 50-mile radius.

PIC provides services to youth with disabilities, communities of color, economically disadvantaged and disconnected youth. The continuum of services provided include career awareness, career exploration, career pathway preparation and training via Work-Based Learning (WBL) that is aligned with the needs of local employers & interests of students.

The goal of this project is to provide youth with information about training and careers in high-growth, in-demand occupations; provide comprehensive, integrated training; WBL; and career placement/post-secondary transition services. Through a series of WBL activities, career focused events and workplace experiences employers are able to fill vacancies.

The opportunities are designed to 1) support local employers by aligning training and education to their specific needs; providing resources to engage with young people to deliver the best workplace experiences; while acting as an intermediary to support any challenges faced along the way, 2)  allows career seekers to succeed in the workforce by providing opportunities where they are able to increase their understanding and knowledge of the essential skills required by local employers, 3) providing pathways for further education in an attempt to gain the skills required by local employers, and 4) ultimately leading to increased financial responsibility.

As a school-to-career intermediary organization, the PIC serves as a single point of contact for employers and schools, providing a sequential, purposeful continuum of Career Awareness, Career Exploration and Career Preparation and Skills Training activities.

A primary focus will be on expanding Learn and Earn training models so all students have opportunities to gain the advanced skills needed that lead to higher wages. The impact of the project will decrease employment disparities by advancing wages of the youth, prepare students for career decisions and employment, engage employers with local students, expand work-based learning opportunities, and develop an essential talent pipeline for employers.

For more information contact Eriann Faris at efaris@swmnpic.org or at 507-476-4053.