Career Academies

Clearing the Way for Brilliant Futures

Through intentional, innovative education, low-income youth and youth of color in the greater Twin Cities will have clear pathways to wealth-building careers with zero college debt.

Transforming Inequity into Opportunity

Minnesota’s achievement gaps indicate we are not successfully preparing Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Other Youth of Color for future success. By bringing a proven career pathways approach to local school districts, we can reduce disparate educational outcomes, close the racial wage gap and fortify our region’s much-needed talent pool.

Lesly - Career Academies Student
“The program really pushed me to want to be something. My dad is the proudest guy in the world, and he says my sister now has someone to look up to.”
  • Blue graduation cap


    Graduation rate disparity between white students and students of color.
  • Blue high school bus


    Of high school graduates are unprepared for college.
  • Image of shaking hands


    Jobs in Minnesota will be unfilled by 2024.
  • Image of red money


    Annual wage gap between white people and people of color in the Twin Cities.
Confident smiling young african businessman looking at camera in office

The Role of Career Academies

Partnering with school districts across Minnesota, Career Academies provides specialized funding, technical assistance and coaching, and a platform for peer-to-peer support focused on building sustainable career pathways alongside local businesses.


Together, we work to ensure students in grades 9 to 14 have equitable access to college credits, rigorous and relevant curriculums, and meaningful and supportive work experiences.

Our Impact to Date

students engaged
served were students of color
college credits earned
saved in college tuition
increase in hourly wages

Download the Career Academies report for more information about the success of our program.

Career Academies Updates and Resources


How We Innovate

Career Academies is just one part of the work Greater Twin Cities United Way does to develop innovative solutions in collaboration with partners throughout our community.

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Join Us as a Changemaker

Learn how you can support programs like Career Academies and other innovative solutions.