Success Stories

Interest Turns to Employment

After the 2015 Bridges Career Exploration Day, myself and a few employer partners were working on cleaning up the automotive lab at CLC. A high school student (10th grade at the time) that I remember from one of the activities earlier in the day came into the shop because he just wanted to see the shop one more time. Myself and an employer helping me clean up asked the young student why he was there, and he said that he never knew the transportation industry was so high tech and that the employers were willing to talk with young kids.

He had no family history, background, or experience working on things at all. He continued to ask questions and have a conversation with both of us about the career pathway, what employers are looking for, and what the various jobs look like. He asked questions about what the relationship was like between the employer and the college, and wanted to know what courses in high school he should be taking if he wants to explore and learn the basics.

Fast forward 3 years later and that same young student is now an adult, enrolled in the college program, working part-time at that same employer he talked with after hours, and nearing graduation. The employer says that once he is ready to graduate, he is going to hire him on full-time and enroll him into professional development courses on his road to becoming a master technician.

— Chris Hadfield, Ed.M., Director
Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence

Academies Grad Returns Home for Work

"All five of us have graduated from four year universities in the last year with a Bachelor’s Degree. I honestly do not think all five of us would have been able to graduate as soon as we did without a head start on our college credits through the Bridges Program while we were in high school. We are all now either working full time, going to grad school, or student teaching.”

— Donna Ehnert, 2012 Bridges Career Academy graduate

Donna Ehnert and four of her high school friends proudly wore their ‘green cords’ at their 2012 graduation which identified them as Career Academy Completers. Donna completed a Business Career Academy. Ehnert returned to her local community after her college graduation and currently works for the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce.