A recent Star Tribune article highlighted the student-employer partnerships available in the Twin Cities that are helping young people build careers. These partnerships provide jobs for students—often from communities of color—and workers for businesses.

Summit Academy, a vocational school in north Minneapolis, partners with employers in health care, construction, and IT to give its graduates a foot into entry-level careers. For Ahmed Omar, Peng Her, and Linus Onuoha, Summit’s 20-week technology-training program brightened their career trajectory. Neal St. Anthony writes,

Today, the three are second-year employees with career plans at Atomic Data, the data-center manager and IT-support company.

The free training by Summit, which requires 100% attendance, is supported by public grants, philanthropy and growing relationships with private employers such as Atomic and Design Ready Controls. They want to diversify their workforce with employees who can make $50,000 or more after several years of work, training and advancement.

Every Summit hire gets on-the-job training and an Atomic “fusion buddy” mentor to introduce them to corporate life, as well as soft-skills development with colleagues and clients. Communication often is as important as technical skills, particularly in customer-serving roles.

Summit also partners with Design Ready Controls, an electronic-control panel manufacturer in Brooklyn Park, and Best Buy, but is eager for more corporate partners to continue training for future workforce needs.

The Great Jobs project recently released its second round of videos that highlight the programs and career pathways in Minnesota that lead to well-paying and successful futures. Summit graduate and Atomic Data employee Linus Onuoha was one of the featured interviewees, and he shares his story below.

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