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As labor force demand increases, more attention is being given to our high school graduates – where are they going and how do we keep more of them in our rural regions now that we have a plethora of opportunities available. This report tracks high school graduates in Southwest Minnesota from 2008 through 2019, examining what sorts of education and career paths they have traveled. By identifying the types of high school experiences they had, we can better understand what strategies to focus on that might keep more young people in the region.

Read More about The Journey to Meaningful Workforce in SW MN
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The Major Madness event was designed for our English Language Learner students to become more familiar with the various training programs, careers, resources and tools available for making decisions for “What’s Next After High School” in southwest Minnesota. This event is hosted by the Southwest West Central Service Cooperative, Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU), Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council, Upward Bound, and LYFT Career Pathways.

Read More about Major Madness Event for Students
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LYFT was a proud presenter and partner for the Region 6W Workforce Summit held on November 8, 2023, at the Prairie’s Edge Resort in Granite Falls, Minnesota. At the summit, all area employers and community leaders were invited to learn the latest workforce data and trends and successful models of what others are doing to address the workforce shortage.

Read More about Region 6W Workforce Summit
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The 2023 Southwest Minnesota Career Expo was held on Sept. 26th and 27th at the college campuses of Southwest Minnesota State University–Marshall and Minnesota West-Worthington. The event brought 130 employers and educational programs; they provided valuable career and education information to these high school students, plus highlighted regional businesses and the type of jobs they provide in our communities. 

Read More about Career Expo Survey Results
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We are thrilled to announce that the Southwest West Central Service Cooperative (SWWC) is hosting a FTC Robotics Qualifier competition right here in Marshall, MN. This is an exciting event that will take place on Saturday, January 13, 2024, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will be held at the Marshall Middle School.

  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
Read More about First Tech Challenge Qualifier Event Coming to Marshall
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If you have partnered with LYFT Career Pathways in the past, you know our organization is about sharing resources and programs throughout southwest Minnesota that create clear pathways for our students to pursue after high school. We believe in collaborating with schools, students and employers to meet their needs locally. Recently at the CTE (Career Technical Education) Works! Summit, we learned of free resources being used successfully by our neighbors across the state that we are excited to share.

  • Foundation, Knowledge, and Skills
Read More about Free Work-Based Learning Resources
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While attending the Relationships Matter - 4th MNwest CEO Forum and Entrepreneur Summit, students, teachers, and administrators spoke on artificial intelligence (AI) sharing their thoughts and experiences regarding classroom applications. The key takeaway from these sessions was that oftentimes, the conversation around AI in the classroom includes the word “cheating”, and these two should avoid going hand in hand.

  • Information Technology
Read More about Redefining Cheating and Embracing AI
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On Wednesday, November 1, 2023, business and technology professionals came from across the state to attend the 4th MNWest CEO Forum and Entrepreneur Summit focused on “Relationships Matter” in Moorhead, Minnesota. The event focused on showcasing next-gen AI applications, future-forward business strategies, groundbreaking VP experiences and over 20 regional companies.

  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
Read More about MN West CEO Forum and Entrepreneur Summit
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By Deb Gau, Marshall Independent

MARSHALL — A group of area businesspeople and educators say they want to try a new approach in growing the next generation of entrepreneurs in southwest Minnesota. The plan includes founding a year-long educational program that connects high school students with local businesses, and gets students started on developing their own business plans.

  • Business, Management, and Administration
Read More about From High School to CEO
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By Per Peterson, Tracy Headlight Herald, February 2019

More than a dozen high school students from the Tracy, Marshall, Slayton and Westbrook-Walnut Grove school districts found themselves in a science room at Tracy Area High School on Saturday, but they weren’t learning about the Periodic Table or the structure of a cell.

  • Engineering, Manufacturing, and Technology
  • Transporation, Distribution and Logistics
Read More about Tracy Area Pilot Course
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Minnesota West Press Release

(Worthington, MN) A partnership between Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Southwest Minnesota State University, and Worthington District #518 was recently awarded two planning grants: one from the McKnight Foundation ($75,000 planning grant) and one from the Southwest Initiative Foundation ($15,000 gap grant) to develop opportunities for teacher education in the Worthington area. The goal is to assist current high school juniors and seniors by providing them with opportunities to prepare for and successfully complete college-level Education courses. The project target students in Worthington District #518, many of whom would be first generation college students.

Read More about Collaborative Partnerships Result in Opportunities for Education
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By Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council

The Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council, in partnership with the Southwest West Central Cooperative, Minnesota West Community and Technical College and the Minnesota River Valley Education District, provided 14 students the opportunity to participate in an Introduction to Manufacturing and Engineering course during the spring semester. These students were able to job shadow at local manufacturing companies and practice the skills they learned through the class. Two young men were able to job shadow staff at Granite Falls Energy (GFE) in Granite Falls.

  • Engineering, Manufacturing, and Technology
Read More about Local Employer Job Shadow Testimonial
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By Jen Burris, Pipestone County Star, April 2018

Twenty students have been selected for the Southwest Minnesota Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) program for the 2018-19 school year. Seven of the selected students attend school in Pipestone County: three from Pipestone Area Schools (PAS), three from Edgerton Public and one from Southwest Christian.

  • Business, Management, and Administration
Read More about Twenty Selected for SWCEO Program
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Creating a Pathway for a Stronger Workforce and Community
by Michelle Noreiga, Assistant Principal, Marshall Public Schools

As assistant principal of a school using an adult/high school student career pathway model (with both adults and high school students learning together), I have seen benefits to both groups and the collaborative partners.

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Read More about Adult/High School Student Career Pathways
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Minnesota West Community and Technical College, in conjunction with the SWWC Service Cooperative and the Future/Pathways to Prosperity United Way grant, is currently offering several pathways of educational learning and hands on exploration to area high school students in high demand career path areas.

  • Engineering, Manufacturing, and Technology
  • Health Science Technology
  • Information Technology
Read More about MN West Offers Career Pathway Opportunities
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By Jordan Hulscher, Daktronics Company News

Figuring out what you want to do and where you want to go after high school graduation can be a daunting task. A program Daktronics Redwood Falls put together aims to help students with that decision by giving them the chance to explore various career options without looking too far.

  • Engineering, Manufacturing, and Technology
Read More about HS Students Explore Local Opportunities at Daktronics RWF
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By Jenny Kirk, Marshall Independent, May 2017

GRANITE FALLS — Yellow Medicine East junior Haley Brovold had the opportunity to job shadow a critical care nurse as part of a pilot medical careers class that was held at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Granite Falls.

  • Health Science Technology
Read More about Job Shadow for YME Student