Highline School District launches new workplace learning initiative
Highline School District announced Wednesday (March 19) that it received a grant to launch an initiative to “provide every student with a work-based learning experience before graduation.”
The Highline MINDS (Mentoring, Internships, and Direction) effort will provide all district high school students with the opportunity to participate in industry visits, mentoring, career fairs, job shadows, and/or internships.
Highline MINDS is being funded by a generous grant from The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation. The grant – $250,000 for the first year – underwrites all costs of planning and implementing the program.
“We are so grateful to The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation not only for their generous support of our work, but also for sharing our commitment to providing every student in Highline with access to the highest quality education and work-based learning experiences,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “We want the very best for our students, and thanks to partners like the Billers we are better able to prepare them for their future.”
“We rely on our public education system to inspire the next generation of professionals who will be the leaders in our communities,” said Foundation President Sheri Biller. “Highline MINDS weaves together two key interests of the Biller Family Foundation: K-12 public education and workforce development.”
Julie Burr has been selected to lead the work as Career Access Manager. In that role, she will partner with schools to coordinate partnerships with businesses and organizations that can provide workplace experiences.
Previously, Burr was Coordinator of Work-Based Learning at Raisbeck Aviation High School, where she developed a similar program, facilitating 170 internships and 150 professional mentorships. Prior to that, she served as a Highline School Board Director.
Highline MINDS supports the district’s strategic goal to have 19 out of 20 of today’s 9th graders graduate prepared to choose their future.