Hidden from Top Navigation
Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.

Scrubs Camp Initiates a Pipeline to Careers in Healthcare

The eighth annual Augsburg Scrubs Camp enjoyed another summer of strong student participation and sparked interest in health care careers. Scrubs Camp is a summer youth camp provided by HealthForce Minnesota that works to connect high school students from underserved populations to visions of college and careers in healthcare. The camp introduces career pathways in healthcare by engaging students in hands-on sessions taught by camp sponsors such as University of Minnesota and Fairview Health Services, and introduces participants to health care professionals.  

Scrubs Camp provides students with access to college labs, classrooms, and facilities, providing students the opportunity to tour a college campus and explore higher education. Connecting students of color to pathways to higher education and careers in healthcare is important to the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership. In 2016, participants at the Augsburg Scrubs Camp were 38% African-American, 23% Asian/Pacific Islander, 20% Caucasian, 14% Hispanic/Latino, 3% mixed race/ethnicity, and 1% other. 


Students Kick off Scrubs Camp at Augsburg College

Augsburg's Scrubs Camp is the second-oldest in Minnesota. This year, approximately 80 students registered for Scrubs Camp at Augsburg. The high school students gathered in Foss Chapel for an opening ceremony. Counselors introduced themselves and students shared the high schools that they attend. Some noted that they were interested in dermatology, others in phlebotomy, and some unsure of what they might want to pursue in health care.

Valerie DeFor, Executive Director of HealthForce, spoke about what to expect during Scrubs Camp. DeFor encouraged students to work on their social interaction skills by meeting new people and making new friends. “In health care, you’ll work with people on the very best day of their life and the worst day of their life - you’ll see both ends of that spectrum,” said DeFor. She noted that the two mottos of Scrubs Camp are to “go with the flow” and “be your best self.”

Throughout the week, students learned about different areas of health care by participating in activity blocks led by local health care professionals. Almost all of these health care professionals were volunteers donating their time. DeFor motivated students to get involved and ask questions. “You’re going to be taught by people working in the field,” noted DeFor. “Take that opportunity. Ask about education, their favorite part of the job, and what a typical day is like.”


A Successful Week

On their final day at camp, students heard from Deon Clark, a nuclear engineer and the current CEO of TCI Solutions, a company dedicated to developing local, diverse talent for companies. Growing up in an underprivileged neighborhood in Chicago, Clark promised his mother he would get a good education. He joined the Navy and was placed in an 18-month program that helped him earn a Bachelor’s degree and gain the qualifications needed to run a nuclear power plant. By age 19, Clark was running a nuclear aircraft carrier. “It can be hard to succeed without the support of the people around you,” Clark said. “Sometimes you have to ask for it, and then tell them exactly how they can support you.”

President Paul Pribbenow of Augsburg College gave the main address of the Closing Ceremony, dressed in full academic regalia. He spoke about his love of Scrubs Camp, and the importance of the program, especially with the growing need for nurses.

“I love seeing all these enthusiastic young people around campus,” President Pribbenow said. “I’m not a young man, and I’m happy knowing that these are the people who will take care of me when I am too old to do it myself.”

President Pribbenow presented each participant with a diploma, congratulating them on their successful completion of the program. Family and friends looked on as each participant celebrated their successful experience and got a taste of what a college graduation would feel like.


Envisioning Health Care Careers at Saint Paul College Scrubs Camp

Creating Health Care Career Pathways

Nearly 100 high school students participated in Scrubs Camp at Saint Paul College the last week of July. Conducted in partnership with HealthForce Minnesota, Scrubs Camp was supported by Regions, Fairview, and HealthEast, anchor institution members of the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP). These partners share a goal of achieving better local health outcomes, improved educational achievement, and increased household incomes by developing a more diverse, local workforce.


Scrubs Camp Activities: From Stem Cells to Aging Bodies

Throughout the week, students participated in blocks of activities that introduced them to different areas of health care. “I’m starting to think about college and careers and I think Scrubs Camp will help me explore careers in health care and see if it’s something I’d like to do,” said one Scrubs Camp participant.

Day two of the week-long camp saw students rotating through activities including the placebo effect, aging suits, a pathogen outbreak, stem cells, and simulation bus and van.

Sabrina Hemmerling, Pharmacy Technician Instructor at Saint Paul College, taught camp participants about the placebo effect. Students made their own placebo capsules in addition to designing their own drugs.

 In the aging suits block led by Melissa Miller, students were introduced to geriatrics by experiencing the physical effects of aging. Students dressed up in the aging suits and were given everyday tasks such as picking something up off the ground and going up and down the stairs.

"Aging suits was fun,” said a Scrubs Camp participant. “We put on this outfit and it hurt my back and actually made me feel old.”

Using the scientific method, students identified pathogens over a course of activities as part of a case study presented by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Scrubs Camp students learned about all the activities that go on at MDH, from restaurant inspection to infectious disease monitoring. Students also had the opportunity to swab an item of their choice, such as a cell phone or the bottom of their shoe, to see how much bacteria grew within a day.

Randy Daughters from the University of Minnesota Stem Cell Institute discussed regenerative medicine, the uses of stem cells, and stem cell research using model organisms. Students learned about the ability of some organisms to regenerate limbs, tails, and even hearts. Using tadpoles, students regenerated tails over the course of about two days. In addition, students engaged in an in-vitro fertilization activity to obtain embryonic stem cells from an African clawed frog.

Dual-degree holder Daughters shared his academic path with students. “You’re here to explore different health care careers,” said Daughters. “At one point I was there. I remember it being fun, but not knowing what I was going to do. Dual degrees are designed to train people to investigate different things that come into the clinic and essentially advance the science, so you’re doing the research and doing the clinical work.”


Training Like a Healthcare Professional

The Ridgewater Simulation Bus (SimLab L1), a mobile lab with high-tech simulation equipment, allowed students to participate in a customized training scenario. SimLab L1 features a mock emergency/patient care room, birthing simulator, pediatric training simulator, and Laerdal SimMan 3G, a state-of-the-art patient simulator that displays neurological and physiological symptoms. In the Children’s Simulation Van, students diagnosed a four-year-old patient with pneumonia and trouble breathing. They experienced what it is like to administer a sedative and paralytic and also inserted a breathing tube. Students also delivered a mannequin baby during a birth simulation.

"The Children’s simulator felt real,” commented one of the Scrubs Camp participants. “It made me want to be an EMT."

Health Care Career Exploration

On the final day of camp, students reflected on how the week’s activities influenced their interest in the medical field. “I’m not sure if I want to work in the healthcare field yet, but I am considering it,” said Parker, a Scrubs Camp participant. “My favorite part of the camp was the ‘Jobs Now’ block because we got to learn about all the careers in healthcare,” said another student.

The variety of blocks helped spark students’ interest in specific medical fields. “I’m not sure if I want to work in health care, but if I were to work in the field, I would want to do stem cell research,” commented camp participant Justin.

Camp participant Sulekha knows she wants to be in the medical field. “I want to be an OBGYN, so I liked getting to deliver a mannequin baby,” said Sulekha.

The “Nursing Skills” block allowed camp participant Hto to gain exposure to the field. “We got to take blood pressure and learn about other things nurses do on the job,” Hto exclaimed.


The Next Generation of Health Care Professionals

The sixth annual Scrubs Camp at Saint Paul College closed with student peer award nominations and closing remarks from camp director Sharon Blomgren. “The 36 employers involved in making this camp a possibility are hopeful that you are going to be their employees in the next five to ten years,” noted Blomgren. Students left camp with more than their certificates of completion. They gained valuable professional connections with local health care employers that, for some students, can serve as a gateway into future health care careers.


Care for Creation with Transit

Doug HennesAs a Catholic University, St. Thomas seeks to cultivate an ethic of care for God’s creation through sustainable stewardship of our resources. We know that decreasing reliance on the automobile is one element of this ethic. As more students and employees embrace transit, we reduce our collective carbon footprint and relieve pressure on our limited parking resources as well.

So St. Thomas has many reasons to celebrate our partnership with Metro Transit, including the new offer of discounted College Passes for incoming students announced in this newsletter. We expect that more students will take advantage of the unlimited transit access that College Pass provides, and the creation will be better for it.

Doug Hennes, Vice President for Government Relations and Special Projects

University of St. Thomas


Meet New C3 Fellows Director Clyde Brotherson

Clyde BrothersonWhen it came time to find a new director for the Central Corridor College (C3) Fellows Program, Yvette Trotman knew the position required someone special. Minneapolis Community and Technical College’s (MCTC) Dean of Nursing, Health Sciences and Public Services, Trotman sought a person who understands the mission of connecting the classroom to careers. Clyde Brotherson appears to be the answer to Trotman’s prayers.

Brotherson has served as an instructor in MCTC’s Central Services Technician program during the last two years. “Clyde really stands out because he makes it his business to find relevant jobs for all of his students,” noted Trotman.

Classroom to Career Connections

Brotherson’s strong understanding of the health care world comes from years spent in health care management, including positions as Operations Manager of Central Processing Center at Fairview Hospital, University of Minnesota Health Service; Reprocessing Department Manager at Regions Hospital; and Manager of Central Processing Department at Children’s Hospital.

Brotherson has found professional satisfaction teaching at MCTC the skills he learned during his career in health care. “It is fascinating to be in both the management of health care programs and to get to help prepare students for those careers,” he reflected. C3 Fellows is the next step for Brotherson in fostering employer relationships to find students jobs in their field of study on a larger scale. “I am excited about what this program can do for many students,” he commented.

Building on C3 Fellows’ Success

C3 Fellows connects college students in the Central Corridor with entry-level jobs in their area of interest at CCAP health care partners. This program has been immensely successful – it has matched nearly 250 students with paid field placements, and these students earn an average of $14 per hour, $6 more than Minnesota’s minimum wage. As of March 2017, 249 students were working in related fields and 231 of those positions were paid.

Brotherson will spend the next few weeks participating in an orientation process during which he will meet college partners at two year colleges MCTC and Saint Paul College and four year colleges Augsburg College, Bethel University, Metropolitan State University, and St. Catherine University. He looks forward to making student connections during the fall semester and to building relationships with staff at partner colleges. Brotherson also sees considerable opportunity to foster deeper relationships with health care employers to support the ongoing success of the program.

 “It is amazing that so many health care partners are reaching out to be a part of an opportunity like this,” Brotherson observed. “I am excited about this opportunity and know I will find it to be challenging because there is so much that needs to be done.”


HealthEast's Local Food Procurement

Earlier this year, HealthEast took advantage of a new contract with its food supplier Sodexo to connect the national food services corporation with The Good Acre, a local food hub adjacent to the Central Corridor. This innovative connection is setting off a chain recreation among CCAP health care partners interested in securing regional prosperity through increasing spend with local businesses, and may promise longer term local spend opportunities for other CCAP partners. Health care partners have an opportunity to shift 5% of their spend to local vendors and producers through this model of working with large food supply companies on strategic procurement.

Partnering Around Local Food Purchasing

The Central Corridor Anchor Partnership has long identified local food as a priority focus for increasing local spend. All partners operate some level of food service for students, staff, or patients, and recognize that there is an abundance of locally produced food in our region. Increasing the amount of local food purchased takes collaboration over time, due to the structure through which our partners make food purchases. Most partner institutions utilize outside food service managers like Sodexo, Aramark and A’viands. Any increase in local purchasing must first go through these companies’ large national supply chains. 

John SwanholmWith HealthEast’s leadership, Sodexo began exploring how to purchase Minnesota-grown produce through The Good Acre, a non-profit food hub formed to reimagine how food and community is created and shared in the Twin Cities.  “The value in investing in local food purchasing is that our patients, employees, and community all benefit,” noted John Swanholm, Vice President of Community Advancement at HealthEast and Executive Director of the HealthEast Foundation. “Our patients and employees want local, healthy food options, and our community benefits from our spending these dollars locally.”

The pioneering work by HealthEast and Sodexo in opening this supply chain has spurred similar investment by CCAP’s other health care partners. Regions/HealthPartners and Fairview are working to purchase more local produce through Sodexo, an opportunity enabled through Sodexo’s partnership with The Good Acre. The local food hub sub-contracts with immigrant, low-income, and independent farmers, including the Hmong American Farmers Association. There are typically 40 farmers supplying in a given season. The Good Acre, working as a broker of sorts, will supply Sodexo with two peak-season vegetables per month during the upcoming spring, summer, and fall 2017 growing seasons.  Early plans call for Sodexo to buy more than 8,000 pounds of local produce through The Good Acre—a total value of approximately $20,000. The Good Acre has also begun discussions with U.S. Foods, which contracts with some health care partner institutions.

“Ideally, HealthEast’s experience with Sodexo and The Good Acre will provide a framework for other partners as they continue to expand their focus on local purchasing,” said Swanholm.

A Hub for Food Connections

The Good Acre, which opened in fall 2015, is a key partner in this work. Modeled as a central space for local food dialogue and distribution, with a mission of enhancing how food is grown and shared in the Twin Cities, the organization supports several needs in the food community while advancing education about and access to locally-grown produce in the Twin Cities. “We help farmers get to the level of wholesale production while paying them a fair price, without overwhelming buyers with the higher price of local goods,” said Rhys Williams, Executive Director of The Good Acre. “Institutions are an ideal target for our farmers’ produce.”

The facilities and warehouse infrastructure of The Good Acre include food transport options, cooler and freezer storage, and sorting, packing, and wholesale distribution resources. The organization also operates a multi-farm community supported agriculture (CSA) program with over 450 members and a hands-on teaching kitchen and classroom. “Our mission is to improve the market for small farmers,” said Williams. “That’s our goal. We do everything through that lens.”

The local food purchasing program has the potential to grow in future years as more farmers meet the stringent food safety requirements of health care, and eventually, education institutions.

A Dynamic Commercial Kitchen 

The Good Acre’s commercial kitchen space was originally intended to serve as a teaching area for farmers who wanted to preserve their product. “Farmers are busy farming,” said Nick Mabe, Manager of Warehouse Logistics and Sales at The Good Acre. “Farmers don't have time to preserve product during the season when they're growing and selling it.”

The Good Acre has about ten food makers in the space right now who are looking to source more product. “We focus on local, produce-heavy food makers such as kimchi makers, salsa makers, and chutney makers,” said Mabe. Emily Paul, Program Director of The Good Acre, quickly converted the space into a teaching kitchen to the public as well as a space for food makers.

The Good Acre does not itself prepare or process food, but many institutional accounts buy a significant amount of prepared or processed food. The non-profit is working on a pilot program to determine if it can develop the capacity to begin food processing activities. “A lot of the processors in the area go fresh, but they're not using a large amount of local produce due to variability, quantity, consistency,” noted Mabe. “We're trying to bridge that gap for them.”

The commercial kitchen runs two to five cooking classes each week, partnering with chefs from around the Metro area. “We just had Chris Uhrich from Mucci’s come in and teach a class about making gnocchi, fettuccini, and other Italian signatures,” commented Mabe. In the coming weeks, The Good Acre has Sara Johannes from Top Chef, Heidi Skoog from Serious Jam, and Restaurant Alma coming in to teach cooking classes to the public.

The classes are provided at a more affordable price point and many are geared toward seasonal produce and products that The Good Acre supplies from partner farms. Classes range from basic knife skills to a three-day, adult cooking class boot camp. They also offer cooking classes for teens and children ages five to eight. For companies interested in corporate events, The Good Acre can provide meeting space and a unique team activity. “If a company wants to get off-site for a few hours, they can have a meeting in our conference space and then do a team building exercise,” said Mabe. “We can have them come in, teach a recipe, and have them work on it together.”

The Good Acre recently partnered with Lakewinds Food Co-op for a maker-to-market program. “Lakewinds had some different products they were looking to source and source locally but found some holes in the market,” explained Mabe. “There are food makers out there that need some assistance scaling up to sell to co-ops and other institutions.” Out of 25 applicants, Lakewinds selected four. Lakewinds is helping these food makers with marketing, price points, and sourcing, while The Good Acre is providing distribution and distribution advice.

By partnering around local food purchasing, providing a hub for food connections, and developing a dynamic commercial kitchen space, The Good Acre is bringing farmers, food makers, and communities together using a sustainable approach.


College Pass Partnership Growing for 2017

Paul PribbenowCCAP college partners are again partnering with Metro Transit to increase transit ridership among their students. Metro Transit has committed to an expanded partnership by offering a significant discount on College Pass to new students.

The 2017 College Pass Initiative advances the Partnership's overall goal of increasing collective transit ridership among partner institution students and employees by 5% within five years.

Significant Discounts

"This offer from Metro Transit represents real progress in our transit commitment," noted Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow. "We can make unlimited transit use an attractive element of campus life for our incoming students."

Incoming students at CCAP partner colleges will have the option to purchase a heavily discounted College Pass, good for unlimited rides on Metro Transit trains, buses, and the North Star line.

Fall semester college passes will be available to incoming students for $90 (an $80 discount). Academic year passes will be available for $150 (a $190 discount).

Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb"We are very interested in promoting transit as a lifestyle choice," Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb explained. "We are grateful that the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership shares this commitment, and pleased to see this collaboration continue."

Participating college partners will purchase a $5 Go To card to familiarize incoming students with transit options. New students can use the $5 Go-To cards to test ride transit, and colleges can offer programming specific to encouraging transit familiarity among new students. 

Fall 2016 Transit Pass Promotion Results

Partnering with Metro Transit, CCAP scaled up its college transit pass pilot in fall 2016, adding three more schools—Bethel, St. Kate’s, and St. Thomas—to the pilot Go-To card for freshmen program pioneered by Augsburg in fall 2015.

Students received Go-To cards preloaded with $10, and were eligible to receive $10 bonuses if they loaded at least an additional $10 onto their cards. Program promotion included a social media contest asking students to submit a tweet about their transit usage on Twitter, with a gift card prize available weekly for the tweet with the greatest amount of social media engagement.

23% of all cards distributed in fall 2016 and spring 2017 were used at least once, and 20% of students who received Go-To Cards in fall 2016 loaded more money onto their cards.



President Arthur's Inauguration Praises Partnership

Metropolitan State President Ginny ArthurPartnerships were the theme as Metropolitan State University inaugurated Ginny Arthur as its seventh president last Friday.  President Arthur specifically recognized the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP) and the reciprocal, positive relationships among institutions that such partnerships foster.  She noted the alignment of this partnership with the innovative, non-traditional institutional environment envisioned by Metropolitan State’s first president Dr. David Sweet.

“President Sweet’s observation, that Metropolitan State is not an ‘enclave within the cities’ for those who want to retreat from the urban environment and its issues, is exemplified today through partnerships that work with hospitals and major health care employers in the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership to address the region’s nursing shortages,” she said.

Sharon Pierce, President of Minneapolis Community & Technical College, took part in the inauguration and praised President Arthur’s commitment to collaboration with community colleges.  The Central Corridor College (C3) Fellows program is one highly successful initiative that benefits both MCTC and Metropolitan State students.  C3 Fellows connects college students to healthcare providers along the Green Line to gain part-time work experience in health careers. 

Metropolitan State is also serving as lead academic partner in CCAP’s  new Nursing  Initiative, designed to increase BSN nursing workforce diversity through a program offering Central Corridor RNs employer tuition support, scholarship funding, and specialized onboarding experiences.

Founded in 1971, Metropolitan State University has a deep commitment to community engagement.  A leader in four year college campus diversity, students of color and American Indian students account for nearly 50% of Metro State’s 2016-2017 class.


It’s Not About the Map – but the MISSION

Among the Central Corridor Anchors, Bethel University may appear to be geographically more distant from the Central Corridor, but we are closely connected to the Partnership’s mission of promoting regional prosperity through a more local workforce, spending more on local vendors, and promoting transit.  One clear example is our shared commitment to creating pathways to careers in healthcare. 

We recently launched Bethel’s new Center for Healthcare Excellence. Under the leadership of executive director Kristi Moline, the Center will develop pathways for Bethel University students and graduates to healthcare partners.  Our focus is to build stronger internal and external partnerships to benefit both Bethel students and the healthcare industry.  This support for careers in healthcare has led us to explore connections to the Partnership’s highly successful C3 Fellows program. Bethel’s new Center for Healthcare Excellence and C3 Fellows share a commitment to opening doors for college students to work in the healthcare industry. We are also excited to be a part of the Partnership’s new Nursing Initiative to create strong pathways for associate degree RNs to obtain BSN nursing degrees and thereby a more diverse healthcare workforce.

We are working on stronger regional transit connections to the A Line and the Green Line, but we are also setting our sights beyond geography.  At Bethel, we believe that with faith in Christ we can accomplish incredible things in our careers, in our communities, and in our world.  And we celebrate opportunities to work with our fellow Central Corridor Anchor Institutions to pursue healthier, stronger, and better connected communities in the Central Corridor, and beyond. 

Jay Barnes, President

Bethel University


A Beacon of Hope: C3 Fellow Noelia Diaz Sanchez

Noelia Diaz Sanchez first became aware of serious health challenges as a child. Her cousin was unable to move, eat, or play without the help of his parents, and when she was nine Sanchez learned that he was paralyzed by cerebral palsy due to malpractice at his birth. A few years later, her brother was born with Asperger’s Syndrome. “Why can’t the doctors fix them?” she recalled asking her parents. From a young age, Sanchez learned a difficult lesson: healthcare cannot solve everyone’s medical conditions. While most people might find this harsh reality unbearable, Sanchez took this news as a challenge she was determined to overcome. 

“If no one is able or willing to do anything,” she reflected as she thought about her brother and cousin, “then I will go and find a cure myself.”

Today, Sanchez is on her way to a successful career in healthcare. She joined the C3 Fellows program during her first semester at MCTC. Having completed her Associate’s Degree, Sanchez has now set her sights even higher: she plans to attend medical school and become a neurologist. As a C3 Fellow, she set herself up to excel in pursuit of her career goals. 

The Central Corridor College (C3) Fellows program connects college students in the Central Corridor with entry-level jobs in their area of interest at CCAP healthcare partners. This program has been immensely successful – it has matched nearly 250 students with paid field placements, and these students earn an average of $14 per hour, $6 more than Minnesota’s minimum wage. As of March 2017, 249 students are working in related fields and 231 of these positions are paid.

From Business in Spain to Health Care Abroad

Sanchez was born and raised in Madrid, Spain where her father owned a few businesses. At age 16, Sanchez enrolled in the Universidad de Malaga in southern Spain to study business. Although she had no trouble with the business curriculum, she found it impossible to ignore her lingering passion for medicine. The restrictive education system in Spain gave Sanchez two options: stay in her current program, or leave. “It wasn’t the right path for me,” she stated.  She dropped out, feeling a need to start over. 

Sanchez transitioned to a job working as the General Manager at Hispania’s Comfort Residence, a housing option for international students, most of whom were from the United States, studying abroad.  Sanchez overheard enough of these students’ conversations to conclude that education and career opportunities were more diverse and accessible in the United States. She recognized an opportunity to start over.  Sanchez took a leap of faith, leaving Spain with her husband to work towards a healthcare career in the United States.

Finding the C3 Fellows Connection

During her first semester at MCTC, Sanchez attended a job fair held on campus.  She visited every career booth before stopping to meet Brian Mogren, C3 Fellows Program Director. Within a few minutes of learning about her career aspirations, Mogren sat down with Sanchez to help her reformat her resume and write a cover letter. By the end of that day, Sanchez had applied to four healthcare positions with Mogren’s help.  Sanchez was thrilled and astounded by the dedication and energy that Mogren applied to connecting students to career advancement opportunities.

One key skill Sanchez learned as a C3 Fellow came from a conversation she had with Mogren immediately before her first interview. 

“Think before you speak,” she recalled him telling her, “Take your time, speak slowly, and be confident.”

Dedication and Ambition

With the support of Mogren and the C3 Fellows community of health care professionals, Sanchez is making strides toward achieving her career goals. In the spring of 2017, Sanchez enrolled in 17 credit hours, including a 7-hour EMT course. She completed the course with an A and her certification and now aims to gain experience in the medical field as an EMT. Her ultimate goal is to transfer to the University of Minnesota to complete her bachelor’s degree, one step closer to attending medical school. 

Sanchez declares that her goal to be a doctor is not about fame or wealth.

I want to be a beacon of hope for all.  So as a physician, I am unsure how to tell someone that they have a terrible illness,” she admits.  “How do you tell someone that they are dying? How do you tell someone that you, as a doctor, cannot do anything to help them?”

Thanks to C3 Fellows, Sanchez is well on her way to supporting the health of the community that she now calls home. 


Regions Employee Gina Krey Chose Transit and Isn’t Looking Back

Regions employee Gina Krey is on board with taking transit. Krey uses a Metro Pass paid for through a program Regions offers all employees to commute to and from work daily.

“I like the convenience of just walking to the bus. It goes fast, the driver is sweet, and it’s efficient timing-wise in terms of connecting to the light rail. I like that I’m saving gas money too.”

Krey saves about five minutes on her daily commute by taking transit, a modest benefit but one that is augmented by the other transit benefits she experiences. “Transit has helped me get outside more than if I were just in my car,” Krey said. Beyond physical health, Krey appreciates the stress relief that accompanies transit use. “It’s nice to just talk to whoever is on the bus or light rail and have somebody else drive for me.”  

Krey credits Regions’ Metro Pass program with inspiring her to consider transit. “It’s a huge benefit,” she said. “I’ve always thought about taking transit but it would be kind of complicated for me to figure out if I wanted to pay for that.”


Glass Installed in Augsburg College Project Emphasizing Inclusionary Contracting

During summer 2016, Augsburg College exceeded the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership’s inclusionary contracting goal to award a minimum of 10% of total project cost to local, women or minority owned firms in a major construction project.  McGough Construction, the general contractor working on Augsburg College’s Hagfors Center for Science, Business and Religion, relied on almost 13% local, women, or minority owned firms to complete the project—an economic value of $6,762,287.

The largest of these contracts was over $3 million to Twin City Glass Contractors, a woman-owned business located in the Central Corridor. Now, that glass is being installed as the Hagfors Center moves a step closer to completion.

Sue Wohlk, CFO of Twin City Glass was pleased with CCAP’s commitment.  “We greatly appreciated the opportunity to be part of this,” she stated.  “And we hope to be included in future CCAP projects.”  The company provides glass, glazing, aluminum curtainwall and storefronts throughout the region.

Steering Anchor Spending toward Corridor Vendors

The Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP) seeks to secure regional prosperity in part through spending more with Central Corridor businesses.  CCAP has developed several initiatives to create wealth in communities adjacent to the Central Corridor by focusing and aggregating the demand from the Anchor institutions to local suppliers that employ and invest in the community. 

Augsburg College is the first CCAP member to utilize the Partnership’s inclusionary contracting policy adopted in December 2014.  The policy calls for CCAP members to consider adding contract language on large capital projects of $250,000 or greater that commits to utilizing local, women or minority owned firms for a minimum of 10% of total project cost.  

Best Practices for Local Prosperity

Many of CCAP’s public members have committed to similar goals through state contracting requirements.  Public institutions and other larger private business corporations in the Twin Cities region have successfully developed best practices and managed economic inclusion policies and programs utilizing Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and other targeted vendors for many years.  General contractors in the region are familiar with economic inclusion policies that target Local Business Enterprises (LBEs) and MBEs and are capable of fulfilling the requirements of such policies without creating significant additional costs.

McGough’s other contracts to MBE firms were for trucking, structural steel and concrete.  Looking ahead, McGough expects local and MBE firms to participate in mechanical and fire protection and electric contracts. 

Central to Augsburg’s Mission

The Hagfors Center is designed to foster interactions among areas of study, support active learning and connect the College to the community.  The new building embodies Augsburg’s commitment to student learning, urban place-making and thoughtful stewardship, according to Augsburg College President, Paul Pribbenow.  “Raising over $50 million for a building committed to Science, Business and Religion was a unique feat in itself,” reflected Pribbenow.  “It is also deeply meaningful for us that the economics of constructing this great building reflects Augsburg’s values of inclusion and diversity.”  


Successful Saint Paul College Career Fair

On Tuesday, March 7, Saint Paul College hosted a well-attended health sciences career fair for students from Saint Paul College and other Central Corridor Anchor Partnership schools. The fair began with a career panel moderated by C3 Fellows Director Brian Mogren and highlighted panelists Elle Nelson, Associate Recruiter at Regions Hospital, and Theresa Carroll, Recruiter at HealthEast. Mogren kicked off the panel, inviting the two panels to recall the least helpful questions they encountered at previous career events. Mogren sought to spark in attendees' minds a different way of thinking about jobs and careers.

The C3 Fellows program connects college students to healthcare providers located along the Metro Green Line. Students gain entry-level employment and necessary experience to become successful health care professionals.  The program is one step in the Partnership’s laddering approach to career development for Central Corridor zip code residents. To date, partners have collectively increased the percentage of their employees who are residents of the Central Corridor by over 5%. 

“Don’t just ask what I have open,” Nelson told students. “At any given time, I have upwards of 250 positions to fill. It’s important to have an idea of what kind of job you want.”


“It shows a lack of preparedness,” Carroll added to Nelson’s comment. “It gives the impression that you haven’t thought about what position would fit your skills and interests.”

Student questions for the panelists prompted tips about the importance of cover letters, recommended resume length, and how to make a job application stand out among the rest.

Following the panel, students spoke with representatives from healthcare and educational institutions. Education partners Metro State, St. Kate’s, and Augsburg College provided information about continuing education opportunities. Representatives from healthcare partners HealthEast, Regions, HealthPartners, Gillette Children’s Hospital, and Fairview discussed job opportunities, provided resume review, and offered mock on-site interviews.




The successful event exceeded expectations: student attendance was greater than predicted, and HealthEast and Augustana both set up interviews with promising students during the career fair. 


St. Paul College Career Fair

This Tuesday, March 7, St. Paul College and C3 Fellows will be hosting a health science career fair. A number of Central Corridor Partners will be in attendance, along with Hennepin County Medical Center. The fair will begin with an hour-long employer panel led by professionals from Regions Hospital and HealthEast. The panel will cover topics including the importance of a strong first impression and salary information, and students are encouraged to come prepared with their own questions.


Following the panel, there will be a career fair from 1 to 4 pm. Employers will be conducting resume reviews on the spot and providing opportunities for on-site interviews. There will also be 30-minute breakout sessions highlighting career pathways for students and graduates as well as student opportunities in healthcare.  Augsburg College, Metro State, and St. Catherine University will have information regarding continuing education opportunities.


Learn more about the event here.


C3 Fellow Profile: Kristine Girbe

The C3 Fellows program has placed over 225 C3 Fellows students in field placements, a milestone for the program. Fellows earn on average nearly $5 more per hour than students not in the program. Field placements are specific to the health care career interest of Fellows and connect them with CCAP partner employers in the health care field. 

Throughout her childhood on a dairy farm in northeastern Latvia, Kristine Girbe always had the ambition to pursue higher education outside of her rural community. Girbe was a senior in high school when the 2008 financial crisis hit Latvia. It became harder to access university education within the country, and Girbe turned her focus to higher education abroad. Her destination: the Twin Cities.


Thanks to support from an aunt who had relocated to Minnesota and her family back home, Girbe came to the Twin Cities to pursue college education.

In her first year as a nursing student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC), Girbe applied and was accepted to the Central Corridor College Fellow (C3 Fellows) program.

The C3 Fellows program connects college students to healthcare providers along the Metro Green Line to gain entry-level employment and necessary experience to be successful health care professionals.  The program is one step in the Partnership’s laddering approach to career development for Central Corridor zip code residents. To date, partners have collectively increased the percentage of their employees who are residents of the Central Corridor by over 5%.

A Health Care Calling

It was during her first semester at MCTC in a hands-on anatomy and physiology lab entitled “pig anatomy” that Girbe decided that health care was right for her.

“The labs inspired me,” Girbe said.  “Immediately, I wanted to figure out how all of this related to humans.”

An Entry Level Job at the UMN Medical Center

As an international student at MCTC, Girbe struggled to make professional connections within the health care field.  Meeting C3 Fellows Program Director Brian Mogren, however, changed everything.

Girbe met Mogren at one of the C3 Fellows program’s free CPR training sessions for MCTC students. After learning Girbe’s story, Mogren connected her with professionals in the human resources department of the University of Minnesota Medical Center.  These professionals and Mogren helped Girbe boost her resume, enhance her interview skills, and successfully land an entry-level position in the healthcare field as a floating custodian for the University of Minnesota Medical Center. 

Girbe’s entry-level position offered a window into the behind-the-scenes workings of a large and diverse health care institution.  Girbe regularly cleaned surgical instruments after procedures such as bone marrow transplants. She frequently enjoyed interacting with patients and appreciated the supportive work environment fostered by nurses and doctors on the surgery teams.  

“Everyone was so friendly and encouraging.  I enjoyed the experience very much,” Girbe reflected.  “Being [at the Medical Center] helped me see my future.  I could see myself working in a hospital helping people.”

Today Girbe holds an Associate’s Degree in nursing from MCTC, anticipates receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Metropolitan State University in May 2017, and plans to study a PhD in physical therapy and work in a rehabilitation center with patients on post-accident remobilization.

“I want to help people manage their new lives,” Girbe said.

Girbe credits the C3 Fellows program with providing much of the support and guidance she needed to make her academic goals in a new country a reality.



National Visibility, Economic Benefit Result of Workforce Pathways

The Central Corridor Anchor Partnership has a demonstrated track record of fostering workforce pathways from communities into local Anchor institutions. The expanding national visibility of this work is accompanied by a growing interest in and attention to the Partnership’s development of a sustainable workforce pathways model through Scrubs Camps, C3 Fellows, and its new Nursing Initiative.

C3 Fellows has created over $600,000 of economic benefit to the Central Corridor

The Partnership’s ambitious workforce development initiatives have created impressive added value and economic benefit to the Central Corridor. To date, the C3 Fellows program has created over $600,000 of economic benefit. Over 225 Central Corridor students have participated in the C3 Fellows program. These students earn nearly $5 more per hour compared to their peers while gaining valuable networking opportunities working and interning part-time with Corridor employers.



CCAP’s career pathways workforce model mirrors recommended best practices

According to the 2017 Report to the Legislature from the Governor’s Workforce Development Board, chaired by Fairview partner Laura Beeth, Minnesota is facing a labor shortage across an array of industries due to inadequate training, education, and career experience of job applicants. The report notes that as many members of the current working population retire, Minnesota’s industries are left with more openings and fewer applicants, less qualified applicants, and more applicants of color than ever before. The best practices recommended in this report mirror the Partnership’s strategies of intentional investments in alternative career pathways, partnerships with private sector leaders to connect workforce pipelines, linking education and employment through apprenticeship programs, and building a workforce pathway beginning with high school students and continuing through to full time jobs and careers. Educating and diversifying Minnesota’s workforce is key to the state’s economic success.

In the next five years there will be over 6,500 health care job openings in the Twin Cities  

The Partnership’s development of a Nursing Initiative apprenticeship program is an intentional effort to grow its workforce pathway model. It is also a direct response to the 3,250+ four year BSN nursing jobs that will become available in Minneapolis and Saint Paul over the next five years.  This collaborative program supports racially and ethnically diverse RN nurses from the Central Corridor to earn BSN degrees.

Following presentations by Augsburg President Paul Pribbenow and Fairview System Director of Talent Acquisition Laura Beeth at the fall 2016 Anchor Institution Task Force Conference in New York City, the Partnership was invited to submit an article on its workforce and other initiatives to the conference journal. Fairview’s involvement on the national stage, including recognition by the White House for its commitment to hire youth workers and award of a federal grant to fund nursing apprenticeships, has brought additional exposure to the work of the Partnership.

The message is clear: the Partnership’s workforce development focus rides the cutting edge of career pathways programming in the nation, and will only become more important as our Anchor Partners look to hire more members of Minnesota’s increasingly diverse population.




Live, Work, and be Healthy along the Green Line

Do you work at a Green Line institution? Looking to relocate? Whether you’re renting or buying, living and working close to transit, especially light rail, promises significant benefits for your wallet and health.

Image courtesy of Corridors of Opportunity TeamMany Twin Cities households spend more on transportation than housing. Forgoing driving for transit can save one household thousands of dollars annually. The American Public Transportation Association found that the average household without a car saves $9,200 annually. In the Twin Cities, the average cost of living in the suburbs compared to living in the Central Corridor and using the Green Line for transportation is $10,000 greater.

There is a high demand for affordable multi-family housing in the Central Corridor, and Plymouth-based developer Dominium plans to help fulfill that need. During spring 2017, it will begin construction of a $60 million, 216-unit affordable apartment complex located a short walk from the Raymond Avenue Green Line station. The existing Carleton Artist Lofts are located adjacent to the Raymond Avenue station and rented at affordable rates. Both developments are part of the Big Picture Project, a public-private partnership which aims to increase the number of affordable housing units built and maintained along the Green Line.

The financial benefits of living and working along the Green Line are impressive, but the perks don’t end there: choosing transit over driving also has a number of health benefits. Adults who take transit are more likely to achieve daily physical activity goals and are less likely to experience health issues such as obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure, and enjoy better mental health.

Michael Huber, health consultant at the Center for Prevention of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, notes the strong inverse relationship between obesity and active transportation use. Transit users walk more throughout the day and meet or exceed the daily walking target for heart health of 22 minutes per day, which fewer than half of adults in the United States achieve.

Bassett, D. et al. (2008) Walking, Cycling, and Obesity Rates in Europe, North America, and Australia. Journal of Physical Activity and Health 5: 795-814.Research shows a high inverse correlation between “rates of active transportation”—namely, trips taken on foot, bike, bus, or train—and obesity. In a study tracking health indicators in the United States and Europe from 1994 to 2006, U.S. participants took transit the least—and were the most obese.

There are societal benefits to choosing public transit. Fewer cars on the road correlate to fewer traffic accidents and less air pollution. Making the choice to live and work near the Green Line can save you money, improve your health, and positively impact your overall well-being. 


Local Food at Health Care Partners

CCAP health care partners are going local with their food purchasing. From working through food supplier Sodexo to one-on-one procurement with local producers, health care partners are serious about buying local.


Three CCAP health care partners are working with Sodexo to purchase food through more local vendors. Sodexo is tracking purchase locality by asking vendors that sell to Sodexo to provide data on purchases within CCAP zip codes. Once this baseline data on purchase locality is available, Sodexo will seek to add more local vendors in different purchasing categories.


Other partners are working with individual local vendors to secure food purchases. HealthPartners is now buying from Urban Organics located on the east side of Saint Paul. This year-round supplier of fresh produce is proving a good fit for serving several smaller HealthPartners hospitals. HealthPartners look to supply other locations within its network through Urban Organics, and may also begin purchasing fish from the vendor.


HealthEast purchasing staff are in talks with The Good Acre, a non-profit food hub. The supplier is located in the Central Corridor and provides facilities, warehouse space, transportation assistance, cooler and freezer storage space, and wholesale distribution to low-income, immigrant independent farmers.



CCAP College Pass Part of National Transit Trend

Photo courtesy of Alicia ValentiAs millennials around the country forgo car ownership in favor of saving money and environmental stewardship, colleges are partnering with regional transportation agencies to make public transit more attractive and accessible for this demographic.

Here in the Twin Cities, Metro Transit conducts the College Pass program, which provides discounted passes for unlimited rides to students at more than 40 local colleges. Metro Transit also offers the Go-To card, a reusable transit pass that can be automatically reloaded with value. In the fall of 2016, Metro Transit partnered with CCAP to promote the Go-To card program. Students at Central Corridor Partners St. Catherine’s University, St. Thomas University, Augsburg College, and Bethel University had the opportunity to obtain a bonus $10 for their Go-To cards, and more than 1800 cards were distributed among the four schools. CCAP partner University of Minnesota offers its own option, the U-Pass.

Other cities have launched similar efforts. Chicago’s successful U-Pass program includes over 40 participating institutions. Students receive unlimited rides through the  Chicago Transit Authority during the school year and can load the same Ventra card with value when not enrolled. This minimizes the hassle with switching between the U-Pass and city system.

Denver’s CollegePass system is similar with 11 colleges and universities providing discounted transit passes to over 100,000 students.  Students who live outside the service area or who are unable to use transit are not eligible for the program.

Seattle offers the greatest variety in student transit options. The University of Seattle offers a U-Pass to all eligible students, providing access to unlimited bus and light rail rides. Seattle University has a similar program, Orca Lift, which offers transit passes at a reduced transit fare. North Seattle College offers a $200 value Orca Card to students for $125, with the option to switch to the PugetPass for unlimited monthly rides.

Even cities not typically known for their focus on walkability are integrating transit into the lifestyle of their college students. Los Angeles rolled out a new discounted-pass program in fall 2016 with 13 universities and community colleges participating. In Las Vegas, the Regional Transportation Commission offers steeply discounted transit passes to students at three participating colleges.

These booming cities are not alone in offering great transit options to students. Sacramento Regional Transit offers a deeply discounted monthly pass to students at local colleges. Five Cleveland universities offer a U-Pass for only $25 per semester. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, all eligible students can obtain a free bus pass by showing a current photo ID.

Transit is growing in popularity and more millennials are choosing urban colleges. Colleges and universities are responding by fostering a culture of transit among their students by making transit use more accessible.


Live and Work on the Green Line



Image courtesy of Corridors of Opportunity Team.

Do you work in the Central Corridor? Are you looking for a new home? Consider living along the Green Line!

Do you work at a Green Line institution? Are you looking to relocate? Whether you’re renting or buying, living and working close to transit – and especially light rail – can have huge benefits for your wallet and your health.

Many Twin Cities households spend more on transportation than housing, and by forgoing driving in order to take transit, households can save thousands of dollars each year. A study by the American Public Transportation Association found that the average household without a car saves $9,200 on transportation costs each year, and here in the Cities the savings may be even greater. According to a comparison done by the Corridors of Opportunity Affordable Housing/Transit-Oriented Development Implementation Team of the average cost of living in the suburbs with that of living in the Central Corridor, a household of four could save more than $10,000 on transportation by making the move to a home near the Green Line.

While these savings are remarkable, the cost of living within the city can be a major concern, particularly for lower-income families. Accordingly, there is a high demand for affordable multi-family housing in the Central Corridor, and Plymouth-based developer Dominium plans to help fulfill that need. During spring 2017, they will begin construction of a $60 million, 216-unit affordable apartment complex located a short walk from the Raymond Avenue Green Line station.

In addition to this new workforce housing project, the Carleton Artist Lofts are located adjacent to the Raymond Avenue station and rented at affordable rates. Both developments are part of the Big Picture Project, a public-private partnership which aims to increase the number of affordable housing units built and maintained along the Green Line.

The financial benefits of living and working along the Green Line are impressive, but the perks don’t end there: choosing transit over driving also has a number of health benefits. Adults who take transit are more likely to achieve daily physical activity goals, resulting in a number of health improvements. They are less likely to experience health issues such as obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure; enjoy better mental health; and are more likely to achieve the amount of daily activity recommended for obtaining these benefits.  

For these reasons and more, making the choice to live and work near the Green Line can save you money, improve your health, and positively impact your overall well-being.  



The Health Benefits of Walking + Transit

Walking to the bus stop or train station?  It might be the easiest way to do something for your health!

Do you have a 10-15 minute walk to get to your bus stop or train station?  That’s a great addition to your commute – you can get somewhere and improve your health at the same time.

Michael Huber, health consultant at the Center for Prevention of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, notes the strong inverse relationship between obesity and active transportation use, like transit. Transit users walk more throughout the day, which correlates to a reduced risk of heart disease, obesity, stroke and diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A daily walking target for heart health is 22 minutes per day, which fewer than half of adults in the United States achieve. Public transit users, however, almost all meet or exceed the 22 minute target while walking to and from transit stops.

Bassett, D. et al. (2008) Walking, Cycling, and Obesity Rates in Europe, North America, and Australia. Journal of Physical Activity and Health 5: 795-814.Research shows a high inverse correlation between “rates of active transportation”—namely, trips taken on foot, bike, bus, or train—and obesity. In a study tracking health indicators in the United States and Europe from 1994 to 2006, U.S. participants took transit the least—and were the most obese.

The U.S. has relatively poor health outcomes and high healthcare costs compared with peers, due in part to high per capita traffic fatality rates and diseases resulting from sedentary living. Public transit improvements can improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

Inadequate physical activity contributes to numerous health problems, causing an estimated 200,000 annual deaths in the U.S., and significantly increasing medical costs. Among physically able adults, average annual medical expenditures are 32% lower for those who achieve physical activity targets ($1,019 per year) than for those who are sedentary ($1,349 per year).

The benefits of public transit use spread far beyond individual public health. Fewer cars on the road correlate to fewer automobile traffic accidents, and less air pollution. Families and individuals without a car are able to access better medical care and food options when they have access to and use public transit.

It’s easy to engage in walking on a daily basis. Walking is a safe low-impact exercise for all ages, and it’s fun and gets you where you need to go.  Walking has numerous health benefits, including:

  • Controls and prevent hypertension
  • Increases HDL-cholesterol levels (good cholesterol)
  • Controls weight
  • Increases bone density
  • Decreases mental stress
  • Improves circulation and posture

Sources:,, (VTPI: Evaluating Public Transportation Health Benefits), Federal Transit Administration