Education and Innovation are Keys to Minneapolis Business Success

January 25, 2017

Takeaways

We can’t prepare people for the jobs of the future with the structures of the past. #skillsgap #MN
The availability of skilled workers is top of mind for every sector of #Minnesota's business economy. @MN_Chamber

Editor's note: This originally appeared on AchievingTomorrow.org.

Home to more than 27 Fortune 1000 companies, it’s no surprise that business leaders, community leaders, administrators, and educators in the Minneapolis/ St Paul metropolitan area are so committed to ensuring that all students are equipped to succeed in the jobs of the future. “Here in Minnesota, we’re heavily engaged in education because it’s the future of our state's workforce,” says Douglas Loon, President of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. “The availability of skilled workers is at the top of mind for virtually every sector of our state’s business economy.”

Leaders in Minneapolis recognize the need to set students up for success in today’s workforce, as well as the workforce of tomorrow. “We can’t prepare people for the jobs of the future with the structures of the past,” says Craig Yolitz, Vice President of Operations ate Thomson Reuters – FindLaw. “We can’t just lament that we don’t have the talent we need. We have to innovate and contribute … work with higher education institutions or go into schools and get kids excited by showing them the pathways to get there.”

This sentiment is shared by Dunwoody Technical College President Richard Wager. “We ensure our students are able to be analytical reasoners, problem solvers, and lifelong learners,” he says. “The only thing constant across all industries is how much everything is evolving and changing.”

We can’t just lament that we don’t have the talent we need. We have to innovate and contribute … work with higher education institutions or go into schools and get kids excited by showing them the pathways to get there.

That’s why organizations such as Junior Achievement and sporting clubs like the Minnesota Vikings are helping students to make those connections between the skills they learn at school and future job opportunities. “At Junior Achievement, we help address standards, but we teach it through the eyes of business to bring relevance to a child’s traditional education,” says Gina Blayney, President and CEO of Junior Achievement Upper Midwest.

Head Athletic Trainer for the Minnesota Vikings, Eric Sugarman, is keen to show students the importance of learning. “One of the most valuable skills kids nowadays can acquire in school is learning how to learn,” he says. “My team and I are still learning everyday … we attend courses, read, and constantly try to better ourselves so we can contribute to the organization.”

From the classroom to the football field, leaders in Minneapolis understand the importance of education in supporting students, and the broader community, to succeed and thrive. That’s why Minneapolis business and community leaders, educators and teachers are investing in human capital where it matters most: in the classroom. 

To learn more, visit AchievingTomorrow.org

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lucy Davidson is manager of programs for USCCF's Center for Education and Workforce.