Graduation of the Class of ’19 included an exclusive job fair.
The 2019 Class of Mentor Connection graduated on Tuesday, April 2 at the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth. This is the third year that NORTHFORCE has coordinated the Twin Ports program dedicated to connecting area college students with established local professionals for a year of one-on-one mentorship and professional development.
For the first time, this year’s graduation ceremony took place alongside a job fair featuring employers from across the Northland.
“The purpose of this event is to celebrate the commitment of these students and their mentors, and also to introduce them to local employers who are looking to hire,” said Director of Mentor Connection Krissy Johnson.
The 2019 Mentor Connection Class brought together 59 students from The College of Saint Scholastica, Lake Superior College, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, The University of Wisconsin Superior, and The University of Minnesota-Duluth. Last September, each student was matched with a local professional in a field or skilled trade that is in high demand regionally, ranging from healthcare and IT, to finance, marketing, and more.
“Mentor Connection is designed to help students who are North By Choice become immersed here, beyond their college campuses, so our region feels like home,” added Krissy. “With unemployment at a historic low, Mentor Connection is another effort made by NORTHFORCE to retain talent in the Northland.”
This year’s program centered around six events focused on professional development that were held at various locations throughout the Twin Ports, including the Great Lakes Aquarium and the Greysolon Ballroom. During and in between these events, mentors offered career-specific guidance while introducing their mentees to the Twin Ports business community.
The 2019 Mentor Connection Graduation was partially sponsored by Blackwoods Catering and The Lake Superior Zoo. The latter generously made the Mentor Connection Graduation part of their current relaunch:
“We are so excited to be able to partner with NORTHFORCE for this great event,” shared Haley Hedstrom, Director of Marketing and Development for Lake Superior Zoo. “It is crucial to our region’s success that we support college students’ connection with the local professionals and businesses in order to ensure talented individuals stay in the Northland, and initiatives like Mentor Connection make that possible.”