Welcome to the Golden Path Solutions June2024 newsletter! Before we get into the details, we want to give a huge congrats to all of our graduating seniors for achieving this huge milestone. We also want to say thank you to all of our school professionals for another successful school year. We’ve seen the flurry of activity that starts in April and continues through the end of the school year, and we hope students and our school partners enjoy some downtime over the summer.

Speaking of the end of the year, we now have a full school year of providing work-based learning functionality to schools and students through Compass. We spent the year training new WBL coordinators on the process, adding students to Compass, and helping employers create accounts and offer opportunities. Nearly 500 companies now have accounts in Compass, offering almost 250 unique work-based learning experiences.

We admire the creativity employers show in offering WBL experiences, with many first providing job shadows to introduce students to a career, then offering cooperative work experiences managed through class time, and finally summer experiences for hands-on learning. Goldmark’s mentorship program and Bobcat and Apex Engineering’s engineering internships are great examples of this at work.  Thank you to all of our employers who are offering opportunities to schools and students.

School professionals are doing an excellent job preparing students for their WBL experiences through coaching, mentoring, and classroom instruction. We’re encouraged by the ways students and employers are connecting and look forward to optimizing the process next year by enhancing Compass and RUReady functionality. We’ll spend the summer getting ready for next year!

Keep reading the June 2024 newsletter to learn more about what’s new at Golden Path:

Launching NDWIG projects

Thanks to the North Dakota Workforce Innovation Grant, Golden Path Solutions partnered with both Watford City and the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation (GFMEDC) for talent attraction initiatives. We are moving into the launch phase for Watford City, using Compass and very targeted marketing campaigns to help adults and college students outside of our region learn more about these communities and critical careers.

The Watford City project highlights opportunities at several organizations, including the McKenzie County Public School District, McKenzie Health, Wolf Pup Daycare, and Legendary Smiles. The GFMEDC project features over 15 manufacturing companies in the Fargo-Moorhead region, highlighting careers important to them and virtual tours of their facilities.  The Compass mobile app was also updated at the end of May to accommodate these projects. We’re excited to see the results that come back from these two initiatives as they get going.

New Career Profiles and sponsorships in Compass

More than 30 employers joined Compass in May. New employers offering Career Profiles include Cardinal IG in Fargo, ND; Swanston Equipment in Fargo, ND; Anchor Mechanical in Cummings, ND; and Fuel Tech, Inc. in Warrenville, IL. Other employers have upgraded their profiles to include sponsorship opportunities. We’ll be driving our first round of Career Profile renewals this summer, including an overall profile refresh to include new features and keep content updated in August.

Compass activity this summer

Now that school is out, we’re partnering with employers to prepare opportunities for next fall. We’re helping them add new WBL experiences, Career Profiles, and sponsorship information to Compass. With many WBL coordinators already trained in the process, we hope to hit the ground running right away in September. We are training the next round of WBL coordinators in June and July. Finally, we’re working with the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction to explore leveraging Compass for the four-year rolling plan process. Every North Dakota high school and middle school student would potentially use their Compass profile to track their high school career. Golden Path is also partnering with school professionals to explore using Compass for transition students and their work experiences.

A thriving WBL program in action

We sat down with Detroit Lakes High School WLB Coordinator Vern Schnathorst recently to talk about how work-based learning is impacting the lives of students. DLHS offers one of the most robust WBL programs in the region, providing unique opportunities for students during each of their four years. From internships and apprenticeships to job shadows and summer jobs, students are gaining valuable work experience and career exploration opportunities while still in high school.

Read the full conversation.

CVN event a success

Golden Path was honored to be part of the Community Venture Network (CVN) Networking and Discovery Event May 17 in Lakeville, MN, earlier this month. We visited with economic development groups across the region, sharing how our process of connecting students, schools, and employers can help with retention strategies. We also highlighted the community features of Compass and gathered input. Special thanks to Cory Hepola, Gerry Norton, and Justin Erickson for having us!

Minnesota young leaders event explored collaboration

Golden Path attended the Minnesota Young American Leaders Program (MYALP) May 19-22 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The annual event, hosted by the university and Harvard Business School, invites about 60 rising leaders from across for-profit, non-profit, and government sectors to explore how they can work across sectors to help their communities. Derek Grahn attended the event to network and explore ways to expand our reach, including connecting with the University of Minnesota for graduate assistants to help with research or rolling out larger projects.

Connecting with Grand Forks students at job fair

Golden Path attended the “Cash in on Summer” student job fair May 7 hosted by the Grand Forks (ND) Workforce Center and Grand Forks Public Schools. We visited with high school students and employers at Grand Forks Central High School about Compass, available opportunities, and how to get connected.

Presenting at NDCTE conference

Mark your calendars for the NDCTE Professional Development Conference Aug. 5-7 in Bismarck, ND. This is North Dakota Career and Technical Education’s (NDCTE) big event to prepare CTE staff for the 2024-2025 school year. Employers are welcome to participate in panel discussions and host booths at the expo. It’s a great opportunity for school professionals and employers to connect.

Golden Path will participate in three presentations in partnership with NDCTE and XAP (the company that built RUReady.ND.gov). We will explore how to start a WBL program, how to use Compass for the four-year rolling plan, and how school professionals can help students learn about hot careers, sponsorships, and Career Profiles. Watch for a finalized agenda and learn more about the event here.

Participants at the Minnesota Young American Leaders Program gather at the event.
Golden Path and several employers attended the Grand Forks, ND, summer job career fair for high school students
Three students work at a computer in a Detroit Lakes High School lab, finishing a project for the year.
The Cardinal IG safety manager stands in front of the company's logo.

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Contact Patrick for more information or to connect about opportunities with Golden Path Solutions.