Skip Navigation
Skip Navigation

Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance

Click the link to see the full handout (in PDF format), which includes information about the alliance’s goals, members, and research agenda.

Download the alliance’s research agenda [605 KB PDF icon ]

Partnership Facilitator

Jenny Scala

Research Liaison

Amy Feygin

Partnership Objective

The objective of the Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance is to undertake collaborative and systematic inquiry into the career readiness and pathways of Minnesota public high school graduates, with a focus on opportunity gaps.


  • Mary Barrie, Supervisor, High School to Postsecondary Initiatives, Minnesota Department of Education
  • Kari-Ann Ediger, Career Tech Ed/Community Ed/Service Learning, Program Improvement Specialist, Minnesota Department of Education
  • Jane Harstad, Director of Indian Education, Minnesota Department of Education
  • Troy Haugen, Career & Technical Education Coordinator, Lakes Country Service Cooperative
  • Greg Keith, Chief Academic Officer, Minnesota Department of Education
  • Tim Lutz, Superintendent, Kelliher Public Schools
  • Josh Noble, Principal, Worthington High School
  • Paula Palmer, Director of Career and College Success, Minnesota Department of Education
  • Jason Vold, Superintendent, Onamia Public Schools
  • Robyn Widley, Director of Special Education, Minnesota Department of Education
  • Jeremy Hanson Willis, Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Development, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
  • Leah Zimmerman, President, Minnesota School Counselors Association

Training, Coaching, and Technical Support Projects

Supporting the Minnesota Department of Education to Strengthen Its Workforce

REL Midwest is working with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to better understand how state-level staff can support districts in implementing their World’s Best Workforce (WBWF) plans. REL Midwest conducted a review of WBWF plans from 200 districts and presented the information to MDE staff. With a better understanding of district WBWF plans, MDE staff and REL Midwest will work together to roll out training for districts to help them plan for implementing their WBWF plans. A memo summarizing the district scan and a recording of the webinar discussing the results will be published in 2018.

Works in Progress

The Postsecondary Pathways of Minnesota Public High School Graduates: Investigating Opportunity Gaps

In Minnesota, as in many other states, not all students have access to the types of educational experiences that are likely to lead to high-wage jobs. The Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance is investigating the postsecondary pathways of Minnesota public high school graduates, focusing on opportunity gaps by high school locale and student characteristics. Drawing on data from Minnesota’s Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System, this study is examining students’ pathways immediately following high school graduation and labor market outcomes six years later.