For Immediate Release: January 25, 2024
Contact: Peter Ingraham, [email protected]
Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism awarded grant as Minnesota Chamber Foundation, Greater Twin Cities United Way partner on career pathways
ST. PAUL, Minn. (1/25/24) – The Minnesota Chamber Foundation and Greater Twin Cities United Way (United Way) have joined forces to amplify quality work experience for youth across Minnesota through career pathways. United Way’s Future Ready Workforce Fund invests in partnerships focused on expanding the number of high-quality work experiences and the quality of pathways-aligned work experiences for young people.
The Minnesota Chamber Foundation Business Education Network partners (BEN), led by local chambers of commerce across the state, are well positioned to lead local efforts. BEN partners are the linchpin between local employers and students and are active across Minnesota, providing statewide reach. This powerful partnership between the Minnesota Chamber Foundation, Greater Twin Cities United Way and local chambers of commerce seeks to bridge the gap between public education and employment systems, ensuring that all Minnesota students have access to wealth-building and purpose-driven careers.
“We value this opportunity to build on the work already underway at the Owatonna Chamber,” said Brad Meier, President, Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism. “This is a win-win. Employers can showcase career pathways, and students have the opportunity for hands-on experience to explore future careers.”
“No organization is better positioned to connect students to local employers than the Minnesota Chamber Foundation through our local chamber of commerce partners,” said Jennifer Byers, Executive Director of the Minnesota Chamber Foundation. “Leveraging the expertise and resources of Greater Twin Cities United Way will help elevate the work already underway in local communities and provide students an opportunity to explore high-demand careers.”
“Greater Twin Cities United Way has been working in career pathways since 2015, and we’re thrilled to expand our reach into Greater Minnesota and welcome more chambers and employers into our Career Academies community,” said Liz Williams, senior program officer for Career Academies at Greater Twin Cities United Way. “Through this partnership with the Minnesota Chamber Foundation and with a focus on equity, these innovative partnerships represent the future of education and are a tangible solution to strengthening our workforce.”
The grant recipients include the following local chambers of commerce:
- Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce
- Burnsville Chamber of Commerce
- Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism
- Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Mankato Growth
- Lakeville Chamber of Commerce
- MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce
- Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism
- Redwood Area Chamber and Tourism
- Shakopee Chamber of Commerce
- Winona Area Chamber of Commerce
The program will run through 2024. For more information about the program or interview requests, please contact Peter Ingraham at [email protected].
The Minnesota Chamber Foundation has helped member organizations and state leaders understand and grow Minnesota’s economy since 1983. It renewed its commitment to understanding the state’s economy in 2019, through in-depth research, workforce development and leadership programs. The Foundation is the only statewide, private-sector foundation focused on the future of the state’s economy across all industry sectors and geographic regions.
Greater Twin Cities United Way unites changemakers, advocates for social good and develops solutions to address the challenges no one can solve alone to create a community where all people thrive. For more information, visit www.gtcuw.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.