CCR Initiative Update–Winter 17/18

Local Businesses Help Students Start Their Professional Careers in the Classroom

TriDistrict High Schools aim to give students the tools they need to graduate and be successful throughout their lives. Simley High School, South St. Paul Secondary School and Henry Sibley High School, as part of the TriDistrict Career and College Readiness Initiative, are doing just that. This initiative brings the schools together to share resources and develop curriculum that will prepare every student for success after high school. The schools reached a milestone in development this winter, adding immersive career and college readiness programming with the help of several local businesses. Students who enroll in the Healthcare Careers and Medicine course or Careers in Transportation Business and Technologies course for the 2018-2019 school year will have the opportunity to work alongside numerous professionals at the Twin Cities Orthopedics and North American Trailer facilities in Eagan and Inver Grove Heights.

Real-world Career Exploration

After researching workforce projections and talking to students, parents, teachers, and employers, TriDistrict leaders saw a need to engage students in hands-on career exploration activities. They reached out to local businesses to find out who might be willing to host a classroom on site that would coincide with different career paths. Twin Cities Orthopedics offered its new facility in Eagan to show students interested in healthcare what the day-to-day responsibilities in a wide array of positions. North American Trailer offered its site in Inver Grove Heights to work with students interested in everything from logistics to human resources within the transportation technologies industry.

On-site Classroom Learning

Students who register for the healthcare or transportation technologies career courses will still meet Minnesota state standards. The company staff will work alongside school staff to ensure a full learning experience for every student. Students in the career courses will have the added advantage of furthering their classroom learning on company grounds, immersed in real-world projects.

Enrolled students will report to the host business’s site each afternoon throughout the year. Each business partner has an on-site classroom where students will learn about the industry and the professional skills it requires during the first part of the school year. During the second part of the school year, students will serve as interns, working directly with local businesses and mentors to continue developing and applying professional skills and collaborating on projects. Internship placement will be competitive to find a good fit for every student.

At the end of the year, students will have a better idea of what different positions do and a better understanding of whether a position in the industry is right for them.

Interested in your business being a part of this kind of innovative programming?  For this and other ways to be involved, contact Ben Kusch, Lead Designer, at