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An opportunity to explore careers: Minnesota Adult Career Pathway program offers 9 free college credits

Instructor Paul Goodwin speaks to two students, (from left) Donovan Hanchon and Leogene English, as career counselor Luann Thompson looks on. Joe Froemming | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI -- The Minnesota Adult Career Pathway program offers an opportunity for people to expand their knowledge in construction trade jobs. It's a free program offered at Northwest Technical College through a partnership with the college, Rural Minnesota CEP, Inc. and Adult Basic Education and Area Businesses.

According to students Donovan Hanchon and Benjamin Meat, the appeal was the free nine credits. It even inspired one of them to further their studies.

"I am signed up for summer courses (at NWTC)," Meat said.

Hanchon said he is thinking about either going into a NWTC program or joining the military.

The program offers students six classes on different topics in the construction trades. This includes lab time, research papers, hands-on experience and testing.

Instructors, like Paul Goodwin, help students in the program with hands-on training. He works with them at NWTC in the classroom and also at BSU for the hands-on work, like welding.

"It offers them an opportunity they may not have had," Goodwin said of the students. He added some do not go through the whole program, but still find jobs with the help of the experience they learned.

The program also offers weekly progress updates for students, as well as counseling support.

The program began in January, with 23 students attending classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings. The credits can be transferred to other MnSCU schools, with some exceptions.

This is the first course of its kind at NTC. It was funded through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

Students are currently being sought for the next round of classes, which begin Aug. 11 at NTC. For more information, call the WorkForce center at 333-8200.

Joe Froemming

Joe Froemming is a page designer for Forum Communications Co. You can read his blog at

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