Established in 2007, the Bridges Career Academies & Workplace Connection program was guided by a council, with fiscal oversight by the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce’s Education Association Committee, a separate 501c3. The Chamber now manages the new initiative, lead by a Director of Workforce Development.
Several of the programs originated with Bridges will remain, such as the Career Exploration Day, the youth jobs portal Career Depot, Speakers in the Classroom and the virtual career exploration experience, Game of Careers.
These workforce development initiatives will continue to focus on building relationships between Chamber member businesses, local high schools and post-secondary partners to ensure a viable workforce for the region, but will also concentrate efforts exclusively in the Brainerd Lakes Area (Crow Wing and Southern Cass Counties).
Each project may work in conjunction with a career pathway at a high school, continuing education opportunity via post-secondary enrollment, or work independently to support any student in their journey to become part of the workforce in the Brainerd Lakes Area.
VISION: Ensuring a viable workforce for a strong local economy.
MISSION: Bridging connections between business and students.