Getting students to think about career planning can be hard. There are tools in place, but according to Patrick Mineer, the planning is usually the last thing students want to focus on.
Mineer is is co-founder and CEO of Golden Path Solutions, which is partnering with Wahpeton Public Schools and to help students connect with employers and vice-versa. The partnership was announced during a Wednesday, Feb. 19 meeting at North Dakota State College of Science, Wahpeton.
“Students might not necessarily know what careers align with them,” Mineer said. “In fact, with today’s model, things are changing so fast that students might not even know that certain jobs exist.”
Mineer discussed the “Compass” project, which Golden Path Solutions believes is a game changer.
“It’s an application that takes all the things that a student has done so far in their high school career and uses that to help them understand what they’re good at and what careers they might want to pursue,” Mineer said.
Students using Compass create a profile, sharing information about their classes, extracurricular activities, hobbies and personalities. Employers also create profiles for the type of workforce they’re looking for, highlighting the kinds of talent, skills and education needed.
From there, Golden Path Solutions works to create potential student-employer matches. A match can lead to a work agreement, ensuring not only paid education for students but future employment.
“We think this model is a way for schools and employers to work more deliberately together on curriculum,” Mineer said. “It can also help an employer and student work together (at finding) the best outcome.”
The meeting was attended by officials including NDSCS President Dr. John Richman and Justin Neppl, executive director of the Southern Valley Economic Development Authority (SVEDA).
“We are excited to see Golden Path’s presence in Wahpeton and anxious to see how their work can benefit Wahpeton High School students, local business industries and the workforce,” Neppl said prior to the meeting.
Compass gives an opportunity to change youth attitudes toward college, according to Wahpeton High School Principal Ned Clooten. He gave an example of the safety and security that can come from a fully-formed work agreement.
“Knowing that a company wants to come in and pay for my education and employ me afterwards, college has a whole different meaning now in my mind,” Clooten said.
Wahpeton Public Schools is scheduled to conclude the 2019-2020 education year on Wednesday, May 20. High school graduation will be held Sunday, May 24.
Daily News will continue to follow this story.