Interconnected: The Journey to meaningful workforce participation among Southwest graduates

Since 2020, Interconnected has been helping bridge the divide between urban and rural communities in Minnesota by discussing shared challenges and opportunities, and exploring how to design a future and systems that incorporate the unique needs of communities across the state.

We kicked off season 3 of this series on Wednesday, December 13, 2023 at 12 noon with The Journey to Meaningful Workforce Participation among Southwest Minnesota graduates. In this discussion you will hear from Kelly Asche, Senior Researcher with the Center for Rural Policy and Development, discussing the findings from research exploring the migration and employment trends of high school graduates in Southwest Minnesota. Following this is a panel of experts in the field from education and workforce development having a conversation about the initiatives and policies connecting rural high schoolers and local workforce opportunities.

Participating in the panel is;

  • Carrie Bendix, Executive Director, Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council
  • Eriann Faris, CTE Project Coordinator, SWWC Services Cooperative / LYFT
  • Nora Morris, SLEDS Director, MN Office of Higher Education

To read the report we discussed, visit our web site at