WIB Key Initiatives
Outreach to Schools
Reports show that Minnesota ranks 49th in the nation in student to school counselor ratio. With a statewide average of one counselor for every 782 students, school counselors do not have the time or resources needed to meet the needs of the students, especially in the areas of career/labor market research, work readiness, and educational assistance. This lack of access to career planning for high school students is reflected in the increase in drop-out rates among all students, especially students of color from low-income neighborhoods.
When the WIB learned of this problem, they quickly pledged support and financial assistance for Workforce Solutions’ Outreach to Schools (OTS) Program. The OTS model places graduate-level college student interns in local high schools to work alongside the school counselors. The interns provide individual and group assistance for students in the areas of career/job market exploration, post-secondary education planning, and work readiness skill attainment. This program has helped thousands of students gain knowledge and make informed decisions about employment and education since 2006.