Manufacturing Careers and Summer Opportunities for Youth


Making Wonder in Manufacturing: Sundance tour of Fab Lab and Manufacturers

A combined effort by a number of partners launched the first Sundance Manufacturing Tour for program managers in youth-serving agencies. Quite often, nonprofit managers have had little opportunity to see manufacturing. As a result, they are not able to refer youth towards this career path.  However, all that changed when on March 24, 2016 managers and youth got to be “Willie Wonkas” in factories of wonder for a morning.

Herold Precision Manufacturing (sheet metal fabricators) in White Bear Lake was our first stop. Pat Herold explained how he and his brothers grew up in the business that now employs more than 100+ people. Small groups of managers and youth toured the manufacturing floor, and were amazed by the myriad of fun things to do with turrets, lasers and press brakes.  “I can see myself working here,” stated one of the youth. Jim said that they are willing to hire anyone who is willing to work. They hire engineers and workers who can advance through the training provided right in the shop.  Go to Jim says that they will hire workers who may have had a few mistakes in their lives. They are eager to give workers a second chance. Next stop was the MME Group where we met Brian Bussmann and his crew.  MME employs 90+ workers. MME is a box build contract manufacturer with an automated assembly, clean room sterilization services, inventory management, and logistics. MME Group specialized in highly regulated medical device production. Program managers got to see quality control, plastics welding, and devices as small as drop of water. They talked with employees on the floor about their jobs, how long they had been there and what they liked most. Employees were pretty unanimous that they liked working in small teams, and that their assignments changed from week to week. No one was bored. MME Group also hires everyone from youth out of high school to trained engineers. MME Group is seeking tool and dye operators.

Lunch was at Century college with a presentation by Kim Johnson  about their new Manufacturing Certificate Program this summer. For about $500 this 6-week course provides 4 certificates which will allow students to enter manufacturing at a higher level. More information coming.

A tour through the Century College Prosthetics and Orthotics by AdonessTurner with the HOPE Careers Consortium showed managers and youth a variety of positions as Fitter Technicians, Orthotic and Prosthetic Technicians,  Practitioners and Assistants and a pathway leading to Concordia College. These technicians bring a better quality of life to those living with disabling conditions of the limbs, spine, and partial or complete limb loss. The field is growing, and salaries are very attractive.

The final stop was Century College’s new FabLab (Digital Fabrication Laboratory), a center to explore 21st Century Skills in a “hi-tech tinkers” workshop for inventors and people who have a need to design, prototype and build things. Managers and Youth got to see projects being developed using laser engraving, vinyl sheet cutting, a 3D powder-based rapid prototyping machine and a ShopBot (4’ x 8’ CNC Router).

Everyone came away with a sense of wonder and awe, and new possibilities regarding careers for youth. Our sincere thanks to Ling Becker  from Vadnais Heights Community Economic Development, Jill Greenhalgh Century Foundation Director

Results of this tour include: a connection between Urban Boat Builders, Herold and the FabLab to make certain parts, and to bring youth to the shop floor and to the FabLab. Several of the youth are inspiring their peers to think about entering these programs at Century. And all program managers realized more profoundly, that linking their successful programs to actual work opportunities for youth makes sense.

Urban Ag Lab Open House and Spark-Y Summer Internship

Spark-Y empowers youth through hands-on education rooted in sustainability and entrepreneurship. The Spark-Y program exists in 12 area high schools. The Spark-Y enterprise is located at 4432 Chicago Ave. S. Minneapolis.

Additionally, Spark-Y is looking for self-directed and reliable members of the community to apply for their summer intern position. If there are youth that are interested in the urban agriculture movement, entrepreneurship, and vermicomposting (composting with worms) and other innovative urban farming tech, please click HERE for more information, and click HERE to apply.

*Aquaponics is the field of growing organic greens and produce in water vs. soil, utilizing nitrogen deposited in water by fish, to feed and grow the plants.

Save The Date
Sundance Family Foundation will hold an exhibit of the YSE Wunderkammer @ the Northeast Metro Expo

More info to come

Salesforce Nonprofit User Group Meeting 4/6/16

In an effort to aid any YSE Collaborative member  transitioning to the CRM platform, Salesforce, or to help answer any questions you might have as an established user, please consider attending this local, nonprofit user group. We meet from 8:30 am to 10:30 am at Open Book Literary Loft (parking in rear).

Attendees of the group identify as either “in need of help” or “can provide help” by wearing the appropriate sticker. You are encouraged to come with any questions you have or problems you are facing. If you simply have a design idea or a desired outcome but don’t know how to produce it, that is also a perfect reason to attend.  Attendance is free, and so are  answers to your questions!

Please click HERE to RSVP or follow this link:

We’re going to Summit Academy; Wanna Come?

In an effort to learn more about Summit Academy and the affordable vocational programs they offer, the Sundance Family Foundation is taking a tour of their campus and programs. You are invited to join us.

This is an informal tour. It will run less than 90 minutes. We will experience the general information session and take a quick tour. It is our hope that this tour will help develop better points of connection between Summit and the YSE field, and meet people that can best direct youth to and through practical certificate programs that quickly lead to livable wage jobs.

If you are free that morning, interested in joining us, or just in the neighborhood and want to treat yourself to a 90 minute stroll, please consider joining us.

There is no need to RSVP. We will meet at the 935 door of the Summit campus (connected to the parking lot) at 9:50 am and head in shortly after for the 10 am meeting.

935 Olson Memorial Hwy, Minneapolis, MN 55405
Ask for  and join the information session in case of late arrival


Free EMS Training to Increase Diversity in MPLS Services

From April 1st to the 18th, the Minneapolis Fire Department will be taking applications  for selection in a free Emergency Medical Service certification. Applicants must be 18 to 30 years old, meet a household income guide, and a few other requirements. For more information everyone is welcome to attend an information session. Click HERE for a schedule of informational meetings, and click HERE to apply.

Follow this link for more information

Building Our Alliances Together

Don’t have anything to do for spring break? Well, we have something for you! We at Urban Boat builders are hosting a kayak build for five days at our workshop that is located off the greenline Raymond Avenue Station. You will be given a $100 gift card at the end for your participation. Within those five days not only are we building a kayak but we will also be doing workshops that are based on LGBTQIA+, Racial Equality, and Immigration barriers.We are looking for youth participants from the age of 14 – 20 who are interested in learning more about their communities and expanding their knowledge on these three main points.

2288 University Avenue West
St. Paul, MN 55114
April 4 – 8, 2016
9 am – 2 pm OR 11:30 am – 4:30 pm
April 9: Boat Launch 12 – 3 pm

Apply At:

Contact Urban Boat builders at:
Office: 651-644-9225
Cellphone: 651-399-0386
Email: maila@urban



Northside Funders Group has launched a bold North@Work initiative to provide skilled vocational training, personal and situational support, and career placement with cultivated partners, for 2000 black men in North Minneapolis.

This innovation directly engages the rampant unemployment experienced on the Northside, and is offering a real solution to a drastic problem.

Participants will be selected from referrals from friends, churches or other trusted networks.

For more information in the program, please click HERE

Sundance Production Sewing Tour With Sisterhood and Dunwoody

Commercial Sewing is a growing field offering a variety of opportunities. The job spectrum ranges from traditional “9-5” factory settings under 21st Century conditions to independent contractors setting their own hours. There are even coalitions of trained sewers that collectively bid on one-time industrial orders (custom bags, industrial tarps, etc.) with the work (and profits) split among members. The industry makes everything from blouses to tents, and works with heavy canvas or leather to the lightest silks. Industrial sewers can find themselves putting together cushions for inexpensive patio furniture, wedding gowns, or high-end hand bags.

The industry is growing, and looking for workers.

Later this month, youth from Pillsbury United Communities, principally from the Sisterhood Boutique and other YSE organizations, will be touring the Industrial Sewing Program at Dunwoody, followed by a local industrial sewing facility. This is a part of the Sundance Family Foundation/YSE Wunderkammer Initiative, to foster a sense of wonder and curiosity in youth as they explore traditionally dismissed vocations that are growing in opportunity and security.

Free Summer Camp -Grades 8 to 12 at the

Digital Fabrication
And Manufacturing Laboratory at Century

 Youth in grades 8 to 12 are invited to attend these free 3-D Digital Fabrication Workshops at Century College’s 3-Day Production Summer Camps. You can follow this link for more information, or for registration go to:

Summit Academy

Program Information Session
Every Wednesday
10 – 11 am


YNPN Scholarships for Career Development: YNPN-TC provides scholarships for members to attend career development events hosted by MCN, MAP for Nonprofits, AFP, and MACC Commonwealth. To be notified of scholarship opportunities, become a member of YNPN.

Century CollegeInformation Sessions

East Campus session focus on Technical Programs, West Campus session focus on general educational options

Tuesday, April 5East Campus, Rm 2271

1 – 2:30 pm or 5 – 6 pm

Thursday, April 21

East Campus, Rm 2271

1 – 2:30 pm

Tuesday, May 3

West Campus, Rm 2290

1 -2 pm or 5 – 6 pm

St. Paul College Open House and Power of YOU!
Information Session
Wednesday, April 13

5 – 7 pm


Consumer Financial Education Grants: The Rose Foundation will fund nonprofits that work to educate individuals on financial management through coaching, group training, and research. Applicants can request up to $100,000 in funding. Applications are due on April 8.