On August 2nd, members of a newly formed Career and College Readiness Steering Committee in District 197 spent the day visiting four local businesses to learn more about the 21st century workplace. In order to prepare students for the future of their choice, we need to understand the kinds of careers and jobs our students will be entering after they graduate from high school or college. We also need to be aware of the skills employers are counting on us to develop in our students.
Last year, we forged a partnership with the school districts in South St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights to see how we could work together to create opportunities to ensure students graduate career or college ready. All three districts have articulated this as a goal in their strategic plans. By working collaboratively, we believe we will be able to make it possible for more students to earn college credit or complete industry-standard certifications concurrently while earning a high school diploma. We call it our TriDistrict Career and College Readiness Initiative, and you will be hearing more about it throughout the coming year.
The business tour was arranged by the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce along with the River Heights Chamber of Commerce. These two chambers serve our three school districts and have actively supported our efforts to prepare students for careers and college.
Throughout the day, we toured CHS, Waterous, Thompson Reuters, and Fairview Ridges Hospital. Each provided insight into their organization, the kinds of jobs they host, and the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to be successful working in their business or industry. They also shared with us gaps in employee qualifications that they'd like to see improved.
What is it businesses are looking for? The skills identified were common to all four stops on the tour: the ability to work collaboratively with others, solve problems, think critically, and communicate effectively topped the lists. Employers are also seeking individuals who are motivated and have a strong work ethic.
Thank you to our local businesses and the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce and River Heights Chamber of Commerce for a very productive day!
District 197 Team at CHS
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