BTD participated with Detroit Lakes High School (DLHS) and the MN Department of Labor & Industry (MNDLI) first semester to provide three DLHS students with experiences in advanced manufacturing. The program is structured through the Youth Skills Training grant from the MNDLI and exposes students to manufacturing occupations and opportunities while allowing them to build relationships with area businesses and professionals.  

MNDLI awarded DLHS the grant last spring and provided $90,000 to assist in creating experiences and exposure for 16- to 17-year-old students in three different areas, including advanced manufacturing. BTD partnered with DLHS to provide students with these experiences. The students work with mentors at BTD in different areas of manufacturing two to three hours each school day for a semester. They also are able to operate machines and equipment, which gives them valuable hands-on experience. Students participating in the program earn minimum wage per grant requirement and two to three credits while getting exposed to manufacturing careers they are interested in.

DLHS and BTD plan to continue this relationship indefinitely and long beyond the 2-year grant cycle. A long-term commitment to this process will assist in area workforce demands for manufacturing and provide students with high wage and high skill employment opportunities. A win-win for students, businesses and schools.