Partnership with 3M, Saint Paul Public Schools Opens Doors to Meaningful Careers
3M, through its charitable giving entities, is well-known for the support it provides to improve the quality of life in underserved families. Promoting educational opportunities for students in STEM and skilled trades is an important area of focus – the company and charitable entities have committed to creating 5 million STEM and skilled trades learning experiences to improve educational outcomes and provide transformational opportunities for underrepresented individuals.
As the location of 3M’s Global Headquarters community, 3M also has a 40-year partnership with the Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) to expose an entire community to STEM and bring opportunity to children in need. Seventy-one percent of the 33,000 students attending Saint Paul Public Schools are eligible for free/reduced price lunch, 77 percent are students of color, and 46 percent reside in homes where English isn’t the first language.
It is in this context that 3M funded a partnership with SPPS and the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities to connect students to a new way to engage with their district’s Career Pathways programming. This innovative program offers SPPS students an opportunity to enroll in college-level career and technical education classes that match their career interests and get hands-on experience in high-wage, in-demand careers. Students can pair coursework with industry certifications and paid internship opportunities.
The program is housed in the 3M Advanced Training Center, a learning space on the campus of Saint Paul College that was transformed by Heart of America, a nationally-recognized nonprofit specializing in renovating learning spaces, filling education resource gaps, and providing the resources underserved communities need to succeed.
Under the program, career pathways are available in any of several high-demand fields including science and medicine, human services, business and communications, and innovative and emerging technologies. Students spend their mornings at their home high school and spend their afternoons at the 3M Advanced Training Center completing college-level coursework while earning high school and college credit.
Saint Paul College is the primary postsecondary partner of SPPS but this collaborative effort includes other colleges and universities of Minnesota State including Anoka Technical College, Century College, Dakota County Technical College, Minneapolis College, and Minnesota State University, Mankato. Partnerships with SPPS and financial support from 3M allow this partnership to offer college and university courses and provide postsecondary faculty, staff, and student supports for course offerings at the 3M Advanced Training Center.
“We would be thrilled if any of these students were to end-up working for 3M,” said Michael Stroik, vice president of 3Mgives, “But we also want to help students find their own career paths that interest them. We think the career education they are getting now will be critical for the types of jobs we are going to see in the future.”
For additional information, visit the Career Pathways with 3M and Saint Paul Public Schools website.