Business Education Network
Employer-fueled solutions to Minnesota’s workforce shortage
The Minnesota Chamber Foundation’s Business Education Network (BEN) is a private-sector solution to employers’ urgent need to find skilled, qualified and ready workers for jobs available in communities across our state. BEN is employer-led, connecting students with high-demand careers in their community and region. Local chambers of commerce are the linchpin to the success of BEN. They drive these programs and connect area employers with K-12 and higher education leaders. Click below to read the full BEN five-year report.
Examples of BEN programs include:
• Business tours
BEN partners provide students the opportunity to tour businesses, experience the operations and get a first-hand look at potential careers. These opportunities are significant in informing students’ decisions about higher education and future careers.
• Job boards
Many BEN partners facilitate job boards, providing connections between local employers and students seeking employment – whether part-time during the school year or full-time during the summer. Some of these opportunities develop into long-term relationships that extend to higher education opportunities and long-term employment.
Worker shortage 300,000+
BEN is driven by local employers and fueled by the engagement and partnership of students, parents and educators. Since 2016, BEN has provided thousands of students across Minnesota real-world experience in their communities. Students see first-hand what a range of jobs look like, from modern manufacturing and health care to culinary skills and welding. BEN not only showcases the jobs but highlights the path to achieving those careers – whether it is a high school diploma, certificate, two-year or four-year degree.
The Foundation is also integrating diversity, equity and inclusion strategies into the Business Education Network. Minnesota’s future population growth will be people of color, and it’s an economic imperative for all underrepresented workforce populations to have the opportunity to engage in the workforce, and that extends to students coming out of high school, whether that be racial diversity or those that face a physical or neuro disability.
Business Education Network Partners
Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce
Burnsville Chamber of Commerce
Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce
Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce
Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce
Greater Mankato Growth
Lakeville Area Chamber of Commerce
Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce
MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce
New Ulm Chamber of Commerce
Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce
Princeton Chamber of Commerce
Redwood Area Chamber of Commerce
River Heights Chamber
Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce
Shakopee Area Chamber of Commerce
St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce
Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce
Waconia Chamber of Commerce
White Bear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce
Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce
Winona Chamber of Commerce