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Greater Twin Cities United Way, Minnesota Chamber Foundation Partner on Career Pathways

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United Way Staff


ST. PAUL (Jan. 23, 2024)Greater Twin Cities United Way (United Way) and the Minnesota Chamber Foundation have joined forces to amplify quality work experience for youth across Minnesota through career pathways. United Way’s Future Ready Workforce Fund invests in partnerships focused on expanding the number of high-quality work experiences and the quality of pathways-aligned work experiences for young people. These efforts are supported by an appropriation to United Way's Career Academies initiative by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The Minnesota Chamber Foundation Business Education Network (BEN) partners, led by local chambers of commerce across the state, are well positioned to lead local efforts. BEN partners are the linchpin between local employers and students and are active across Minnesota, providing statewide reach. This powerful partnership between the Minnesota Chamber Foundation, Greater Twin Cities United Way and local chambers of commerce seeks to bridge the gap between public education and employment systems, ensuring that all Minnesota students have access to wealth-building and purpose-driven careers. 

“No organization is better positioned to connect students to local employers than the Minnesota Chamber Foundation through our local chamber of commerce partners,” said Jennifer Byers, Executive Director of the Minnesota Chamber Foundation. “Leveraging the expertise and resources of Greater Twin Cities United Way will help elevate the work already underway in local communities and provide students an opportunity to explore high-demand careers.”   

“Greater Twin Cities United Way has been working in career pathways since 2015, and we’re thrilled to expand our reach into Greater Minnesota and welcome more chambers and employers into our Career Academies community,” said Liz Williams, senior program officer for Career Academies at Greater Twin Cities United Way. “Through this partnership with the Minnesota Chamber Foundation and with a focus on equity, these innovative partnerships represent the future of education and are a tangible solution to strengthening our workforce.” 

The grant recipients include the following local chambers of commerce: 

  • Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce 
  • Burnsville Chamber of Commerce 
  • Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism 
  • Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce 
  • Greater Mankato Growth (read more)
  • Lakeville Chamber of Commerce (read more)
  • MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce 
  • Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce (read more) 
  • Redwood Area Chamber and Tourism 
  • Shakopee Chamber of Commerce 
  • Winona Area Chamber of Commerce (read more)


About Greater Twin Cities United Way: Greater Twin Cities United Way unites changemakers, advocates for social good and develops solutions to address the challenges no one can solve alone to create a community where all people thrive. The organization serves the community through five key offerings: Crisis and Information Support (211 resource helpline, 988 Crisis and Suicide Lifeline), innovation initiatives, nonprofit partnerships, advocacy work with legislators, and business and individual donor partnerships. For more information, visit and follow us on FacebookX (Twitter), Instagram and LinkedIn.

About the Author

Greater Twin Cities United Way unites changemakers, advocates for social good and develops solutions to address the challenges no one can solve alone to create a community where all people thrive. Together with our partners, we’re meeting immediate community needs while transforming inequitable systems in the areas of housing, food, education and jobs.

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