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Offering work-based learning opportunities to high school students in the field of information technology (IT) can often be met with skepticism from companies. Concerns ranging from safeguarding sensitive information to doubts about professionalism and technical proficiency make many business partners hesitant to hire students for IT positions.

However, at Hennepin West Consortium, we’ve seen firsthand the remarkable outcomes that occur when companies take a chance on young talent. Meet Gina (pictured), a senior at Wayzata High School, who was eager to explore career opportunities in IT. Through a pioneering work-based learning program developed in partnership with GPS Education Partners, Gina now spends nearly 20 hours a week honing her skills and bolstering her resume by supporting the IT department at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale, Minnesota.

Despite initial reservations, North Memorial Hospital has found the experience of engaging with high school work-based learning to be immensely rewarding. A recent note from Gina’s supervisor speaks volumes about the success of the internship program and underscores the value of integrating young talent into the workforce.

Gina, thank you so much for your fantastic work you did on the 5th floor of the Robbinsdale office building! You were so thorough with your work. You went above and beyond with your meticulous work; all the workstations are perfect! I wanted to say how much you are appreciated! Thank You!

Mary Kirchoff

To learn more about the transformative impact of work-based learning and how you can initiate similar programs in your community, visit gpsed.org/cs. Join us in empowering the next generation of IT and the trade professionals and building stronger connections between education and industry.

Written By

Amanda Daniels an employee of GPS Education Partners

Amanda Daniels
Director of WBL Design and Solutions
GPS Education Partners

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