Rural Career Counseling Helps Connect Dots between Needs of Students, Businesses, and Schools

If newly introduced legislation is passed, rural communities in Greater Minnesota will have counselors at workforce development centers who are dedicated to helping address gaps in the labor force by bringing together students, businesses, and schools. The bill is the culmination of work completed by the Rural Task Force last fall, and enjoys bipartisan support.

Legislators heard a lot of testimony in hearings this fall about businesses wanting to expand but simply not having the skilled labor available to hire. This legislation was crafted in order to help connect young people to the jobs that are available in their own communities.

The hope is that workforce development center coordinators will have their fingers on the pulse of what their communities need, and therefore will have greater success in getting young people into local, good paying jobs that are currently experiencing a shortage. The legislation calls for $2.25 million to be appropriated to the commissioner of employment and economic development for up to nine rural workforce coordinator positions.

The bill also includes an annual appropriation of $10 million to the Minnesota Youth Program for employment and career counseling to young Minnesotans. This will address the significant youth career counseling deficiency and will provide work experience to youth in the workforce service areas. Bill authors hope this will expose more young people to a variety of good paying career options while they are still in high school. (S.F. 420)

Senate DFL Media