Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Minnesota Workforce Council Association

Forbes Wins National Award

Workforce Challenge

Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Chair John Forbes Wins National Leadership Award

Workforce Solution

In 2008, John Forbes, owner of Heartthrob Exhaust, Inc., joined the Central Minnesota WIB and brought with him a passion for preparing youth for the world of work. At his own business, he offers high school students a mentorship program combining wages and scholarship dollars for postsecondary education with learning business and work-readiness skills. While attending a NAWB Forum, John was inspired to develop a business plan offering a unique opportunity to at-risk youth in Central Minnesota.

Outcomes & Benefits

The Workforce Protoge Program (WPP) is a work experience model that leverages WIA youth funds and demands a new level of employer commitment to youth workforce development. WPP employers invest in a youth by paying a portion of their wage and by providing weekly mentoring sessions. This model stretches WIA funds, engages business, and allows more at-risk youth to participate in training in central Minnesota. WPP started with one business and is now available in 11 counties.

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Minnesota Workforce Council Association