Career Crawl: Making Connections with Community Industry Partners

Today was a staff development day before the Thanksgiving holiday break. A team of school and community members have been working to create on-going connections between students, teachers and local area businesses. One outcome of the group's work was the development of a Career Crawl, where all teachers go on business tours within the community. With a Pre K-12 focus on career and college readiness, teachers chose to tour two businesses to learn more about industry.

As an outcome, we were to analyze how our role as educators can support the social and emotional learning competencies necessary to be successful now, and later within their career or college pathway. Secondary staff were also asked to determine the two most critical employability skills from the Career Crawl that we will focus on throughout their courses.

I had the opportunity to visit two locations today; The Princeton Police and Fire Departments, and a local manufacturer, Glenn Metalcraft.

Within my own role as a district leader, the ways that local businesses are leveraging technology to improve efficiency and personalization for their products stuck out to me as a takeaway. For example, a local manufacturer has many parts of their work automated, but the automation is an ongoing process that now requires more technical skills for the operator. What was welding and machining is now coding and maintaining a robotic welding machine that runs extremely high tolerances that were never before possible. My reflection of the social and emotional skills that were highlighted by business partners.

Communication: Students need to continue to focus on how they can effectively communicate, as well as listen and respond to those they are communicating with. Written communication is not dead, and neither is a face-to-face discussion throughout the day. 

Responsible Decision-Making: Developing an ownership of your work as a whole, and the ability to grow within the expectations of your role. 

School bus ride on the Career Crawl.

Princeton Fire Chief discussing how the community supports the volunteer fire department. 

Proximity to the nuclear power plant in Monticello, MN requires emergency preparedness across communities.  

Group photo of staff and our tour guides at Glenn Metalcraft. 

Princeton volunteer fire and rescue department.