Bridging education and careers

High schools, colleges, and businesses in the Brainerd Lakes Area have come together to better prepare students for a career. The result, Bridges Career Academies & Workplace Connection, is a bold step forward in ensuring workforce vitality by equiping students with the skills they need for a lifetime of professional success.

By providing hands-on experiences in different careers, the program helps high school students explore local career options and identify the industries that will need them in the future. By targeting certain careers, students receive guidance from industry representatives to better prepare and plan for the remainder of their high school education and a post-secondary education. Students enrolled in the academies receive college credit for some of the high school classes they take.

The Bridges Career Academies is a link between education and business with a focus on the community's future. Job shadows, speakers, tours, and a Career Exploration Day bring students and area professionals together to not just talk about careers but to give students hands-on insights into what takes place on the job and the skills needed to succeed.

Research confirms that a workplace connection creates relevance, guides career and educational goals, and connects regional employers with graduates. This is the basis of Bridges Career Academies & Workplace Connection.

By The Numbers

Annually, Career Exploration Day offers thousands of Crow Wing County students an up-close-and-personal connection with more than 100 regional, high-demand careers in the Brainerd Lakes Area through hands-on demonstrations, simulators, and breakout sessions.