North Hennepin Community College Helps Bridge Workforce Gap
North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park is working to transition students to the workforce through a series of new initiatives made possible by state funding. They will develop a new workforce development center, hire advisors to connect students to job experience, and offer scholarships too.
“How do we make sure we are holistically helping students,” said Nerita Hughes, who is the new dean of business, technology, career and workforce development. She was also recently appointed to the Governor’s Workforce Development Board as the Women’s Economic Security Act representative. “We are providing them work experience, which is an opportunity that is rare when you think about a two-year institution. It’s very common in a four-year, but not in a two-year.”
Students will be able to connect with new advisors in a capacity that goes beyond resume writing and preparing for job interviews. The advisors will focus on transitioning students into real, tangible job experience.
“They would be able to provide them with internships, externships and other work experiences and opportunities while they are going to school,” says Hughes. “The old earn-and-learn model, but potentially so when they are done they have the opportunity to get employed by community partners.”
The advisors will work out of a new workforce development center that will be located in part of the library. Work is currently underway to transform the space. Hughes hopes it will be ready for a soft launch in May or June. Then, aan official launch will following at the start of the fall semester.
North Hennepin Provides Workforce Development Scholarships
Providing scholarships to students in high demand fields is another way North Hennepin in Brooklyn Park is bridging the workforce gap. The college is awarding 80 workforce development scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year. That’s a 300 percent increase over this year.
Nathan Lantaigne-Goetsch is one of the scholarship recipients. He’s a computer science major and someday hopes to transfer to a four year institution. The $2,500 scholarship is an extra incentive to stay in his field and excel too.
“The scholarship represents the value of hard work you are putting into whatever degree you are pursuing,” said Lantaigne-Goetsch. “I think it’s going to be really beneficial.”
To learn more about the scholarships, click here.