Northeast Metro Business VHEDC 2018 - Page 40

AWARD-WINNING White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation provided funds for steel-toe construction boots for the Gen Z interns. WBLAEF Executive Director Dawn Hank is far right. A TESTIMONY TO COLLABORATION I n January 2018, Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation (VHEDC) received the Partnership Award by the Economic Development Association of Minnesota (EDAM) for the Gen Z Connection: Skills and Careers in Manufacturing program. Megan Barnett- Livgard, EDAM President and GREATER MSP Business Retention and Expansion Manager says, “The Gen Z Connection program is a perfect example of how great success can be created when engaged partners and stakeholders come together with a common goal. The group showed strength in collaboration and worked together for an impressive outcome that will benefit not only eager students, but the manufacturing industry, as well.” The Gen Z Connection program – launched the summer of 2017 – is a collaborative partnership between VHEDC, White Bear Lake Area Schools, White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation, Ramsey County, HIRED and local manufacturing businesses: Du Fresne Manufacturing, Mold Craft, SCHWING America and The Specialty Mfg. Co. 40 Vadnais Heights Business Guide & Community Profile The VHEDC received the 2017 Economic Development Association of Minnesota Partnership Award at EDAM’s 2018 Winter Conference, held mid-January. VHEDC received this award on behalf of the partners of the Gen Z Connections: Careers and Skills in Manufacturing project which provided paid, hands- on learning in manufacturing businesses in the local area. VHEDC Executive Director Ling Becker stated upon receiving the award, “We accept this award proudly on behalf of our partners – Du Fresne Manufacturing, Mold Craft, SCHWING America and The Specialty Mfg. Co. They are to be commended for their commitment to build a future workforce. In addition, there were other essential partners, including: White Bear Lake School District, Ramsey County, HIRED and the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation. This award truly represents what it means to be a community.” Nearly three years in the making, the program began with a significant challenge: ensuring that high school students could gain hands-on manufacturing skills through paid internships. Minnesota Child Labor Laws prohibit individuals under the age of 18 from working on the manufacturing floor with most machines used by the partnering businesses. Meetings and conversations between the school district’s Career Pathways Navigator and the Minnesota Department of Education and Department of Labor and Industry began in May 2015. The process of reviewing and revising Minnesota’s Child Labor laws – which included comparison to other states’ laws – involved time, monetary investment and effort by many of the aforementioned partners. Eventually, with guarantees that certain requirements woul )ѡ́ݕɔɕ٥͕ͼѡЁѡ)h ѥՑ́ձݽɬ)̀ɍЁѡѥѡ䁅ɔ)ݽɭݡ́ѡɅ᥵մ)QЁh ѥѕɹ̃Lɽ)Aɑ ɱIɕаI典 )-ɰMѕLݽɭѽх(Ȱȁȁݕ̰ɽхѥ)ѡɽ՝ѡȁͥ́ѹ̸)I͕ չ䃊q啓tѡՑ)еѥѡȁ݅́ݽɭϊd)ͅѥݕɔչY! +LͥЁѹȁѡ]є )1ɕMɥӊé5ՙɥ)Aѡ݅ɽɅͥЁԸ)QY! ɐɕѽ́ɽٕ