Established in 2007, the Bridges Career Academies & Workplace Connection links K-12 and post-secondary education institutions, employers and local communities to prepare the next generation of students for the demands of regional employers.
The Bridges Career Academies & Workplace Connection focuses on two areas of development for students.
- The Career Academies are a sequence of courses focusing on career pathways. These pathways can begin as early as 9th grade with courses offering high school and college credit. Curriculum is developed through collaboration with college and high school instructors and industry representatives.
- The Workplace Connection integrates education with workplace-based learning experiences through Business Tours, Immersion Camps, Speakers Bureau for the Classroom, Educators in the Workplace, and a Career Exploration Day.
Bridges Leadership Council
The Bridges Career Academies & Workplace Connection is led by a leadership council made of up local business and education professionals. Current members include:
Chair, Twyla Flaws, Clow Stamping
Lisa Paxton, Ultra Paws
Matt Kilian, Brainerd Lakes Chamber
Christina Landree, Pro Staff
Paul Drange, National Joint Powers Alliance
Amy Sjoblad, Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union
Sue Boehland, Central Lakes Carl Perkins Consortium Funding
Tim Bjorge, Little Falls School District
Andrea Rusk, Brainerd School District
Tim Houle, Widseth Smith Nolting
Jim Christiansen, Crosby Ironton School District
Steve Christenson, Ascensus
Paul Preimesberger, Central Lakes College
Mary Gottsch, Bridges Executive Director/Brainerd Lakes Chamber
Bridges programs are coordinated by a collection of staff, independent contractors and dedicated volunteers.
Mary Gottsch, (218) 822-7117
Becky Best, (218) 820-0721