Diana Igo, Campus Director, and Meghan Hathaway, Community Relations Specialist from Minnesota School of Business-Blaine, recently joined other area education leaders in a “business showcase” dialogue at Spring Lake Park High School. The event was an opportunity for area business professionals to consider what 21st Century education may look like for future students, and employers, given the needed workforce realities going forward.
The showcase, gathering at Spring Lake Park (SLP) High School considered a number of current realities, such as the burgeoning growth of technology in the classroom, and the
knowledge, skills and abilities area business leaders are looking for when hiring new employees.
SLP Principal Jane Stevenson asked the group what they believe students need to be “college-ready,” noting that high school graduates today can expect to have 10 to 14 jobs by the time they are 38 years old. This theme was covered in the discussion, along with the fact that serious workforce shortages for skilled employees are already beginning to be felt in many business industries.
Among other needs, such as “hard” technical schools and communication “soft skills,” Igo added the need for “a basic foundation of math and reading.” Hathaway commented that although many high school students do not have the opportunity to work due to the economy, developing a good work ethic is critical to success after high school. Other needs expressed include speaking, literacy, life-long learning, time management, adaptability, study skills, personal accountability, responsibility, and critical thinking.
Colleen Pederson, director of the SLP District 16 Community Education, who organized the event, said she hopes to get even more area small business owners from manufacturing and technology industries interested in engaging students in the high school and college
classrooms to see the business learning that is occurring, and to engage in similar future partnerships as well.