Northeast Metro Business VHEDC 2018 - Page 37

Computer-aided design, modeling and operation of equipment such as CNC mills are taught. Nyren says National Institute for Metalworking Skills requirements and advice from area business leaders has been guiding much of the curriculum. In 2016, there were 48 manufacturing companies in Vadnais Heights, paying an average annual wage of $81,692. In Quarter Three 2016, manufacturing jobs in Vadnais Heights – on average – paid $22,152 higher annual wages than any other industry. A MATURING CAREER PATHWAYS PROGRAM Today, the White Bear Lake High School Career Pathways program – beginning its fourth year September 2018 – employs two Career Navigators to oversee students in four pathways: Manufacturing, Construction, Information Technology, and Healthcare. Jeremy Kerg focuses on Manufacturing and Construction, and Jenny Moore attends to IT and Healthcare. Moore says, “Students enrolled in Career Pathways classes learn industry- specific skills and, in some courses may earn free college credit and industry- recognized credentials. Students learn from speakers, tour local industries and may have opportunities to intern with them. What we know is when high school students can obtain college credit related to their career field, they are more likely to succeed in their college program or their career path. Pathways’ graduates develop essential skills and experience needed to either enter the workforce directly with a high- paying career or further their education at a two or four-year post-secondary institution.” VHEDC Executive Director Ling Becker says, “The Manufacturing Pathway is an excellent example of community collaboration at its finest. The Pathway at White Bear Lake Schools is incredibly significant to the economic development of our local workforce. Manufacturers are noting that workforce shortages are a major hindrance to their continued growth. The opportunity the Pathway affords is a responsive approach to building partnerships between education and industry with a focus to prepare students not just for a job, but viable long-term careers.” The IT Pathway includes a variety of multi-year classes for 9th – 12th graders, such as: IT Explorations, Programming Fundamentals, AP Computer Science Principles and Principles of Engineering.  Other opportunities include Tech Depot, a school program where paid student workers offer IT repair and support to manage the thousands of Chromebooks the School District has for all 6th – 12th graders.  Students also have paid internship opportunities with FireFly Computers and Technology Repair Store.  The Healthcare Pathway includes a variety of two-year classes for juniors and seniors, such as: Introduction to Healthcare Careers, Biomedical Engineering, Kinesiology, Anatomy & Physiology, and next year Certified Nursing Assistant. The 2nd Annual HealthPartners Career Academy will happen summer of 2018 for Healthcare Career Pathway Students in grades 9-12. Career Navigator Jenny Moore says, “We are currently working towards providing paid and unpaid IT internships with local businesses – such as Firefly Computers in Arden Hills – so that students can gain hands-on experiences with computer hardware, software networking and cybersecurity. Internships in healthcare are more difficult, however, because of patient rights. We have been able to offer information sessions related to pediatrics, surgery, pharmacy, and nursing – areas that students are most interested in. There have been tours at St. John’s Hospital’s Pharmacy and Summit Orthopedics, and the University of Minnesota Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.” 37