Rural Task Force: Employment and Career Counseling

The bipartisan centerpiece legislation from the Senate Rural Task Force invests in rural career counseling coordinators to advise youth of employment and education opportunities. The goal of legislation is to expose young people to a variety of well-paying career options that are both in-demand and local, while they are still in high school. The legislation recognizes that skilled workers and successful businesses are key to a strong economy in Greater Minnesota. Currently, businesses across the state are experiencing a shortage of skilled workers, hindering their ability to grow. This legislation is meant to connect the dots between students, businesses, and schools.

The legislation appropriates $27 million over the biennium for the Minnesota Youth Program for employment and careering counseling to young Minnesotans and $2.25 million over the biennium for the creation of rural career counselor coordinators.

Career counseling coordinators will be responsible for connecting with new and existing businesses to help determine how they assist with training or recruiting more workers. The coordinators will also connect with job seekers, employers, high school students, and college students in the area. The career coordinators are designed to have their fingers on the pulse of what local communities need. In addition, they will be responsible for truly connecting the dots between high school students, higher education, and business needs.

­According to DEED, the top predictor of future success in the workplace is early exposure to work experience. With an investment of $27 million, the Rural Task Force believes employment and career counseling at an earlier age will help set students up for success. Giving young people career options in their own communities keeps small towns alive and vibrant – which is good for a healthy and diverse state economy. (See also: Economic Development and Workforce Training)

STATUS: Laid over for possible inclusion in the Environment, Economic Development, and Agriculture Omnibus Finance Bill. (S.F. 420).

Senate DFL Media