January 27 2023

Achieve Lunch Break event explores how students plan for careers in our changing economy

Photos of four presenters for Achieve Lunch Break event

Our regional economy is struggling with widespread talent shortages and other economic shifts, with many employers dropping college degree requirements and focusing instead on skills-based hiring or creating new training and credentialing pathways. All of these trends are having a significant impact on the way our high school students are exploring and preparing for their best postsecondary and career options.

On January 19, Achieve hosted a “Lunch Break with Achieve Twin Cities” virtual event to explore these issues with local experts and Achieve program staff who work directly with students.

The event kicked off with a presentation on youth employment data trends by Erin Olson, Director of Strategic Research for Real Time Talent, followed by responses from three professionals who provide guidance to young people in their career exploration and planning. These panelists included Ieesha McKinzie Collins, ConnextMSP Managing Director; Kelsey Massey, our Achieve Career & College Center coordinator at South High School; and Talia Levin, Achieve’s Step Up Youth Services Manager. Our facilitator was Jeremiah Brown, Achieve Senior Director of Internships and Partnerships.

“Our young people are the future of our community. It's critical that we carefully track these changes in our employment and education landscapes and ensure that we’re using data-informed strategies to advise students in preparing for meaningful high-skill, living wage careers,” says Jeremiah. “We’re so thankful to Erin for her data expertise and to Ieesha, Kelsey and Talia for their wisdom in how we can utilize these lessons for our work with young people moving forward.”   

If you missed the event, you’re in luck! Check out our YouTube video recording.