One way Duluth works to keep students

Let's get down to business

We’ve all read about the need for better integration of the education and business world.

Looks like Duluth is addressing that, at least from one angle.

FUSE Duluth’s “College Connection” program, now in its fourth year, pairs 100 college students — from the University of Minnesota Duluth, College of St. Scholastica, Lake Superior College and Duluth Business University — with mentors from about 80 Duluth-area businesses.

I spoke with Lara Wilkinson, director of FUSE Duluth at the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, for a few details.

Here’s what students get: a valuable look into the business community, help with their resume and interview skills, and a chance to network — especially key to getting a job in Duluth, which some say can be rather insular.

What businesses get: a chance to cultivate and retain a talented work force — key to stemming a “brain drain” of the Twin Ports area.

Wilkinson cautioned that there’s no guarantee that a student will get a job, but it does happen on occasion.

The program includes a wide array of fields, she said, though it attracts many from the sales, marketing and public relations sectors.

Check out the FUSE Duluth Web site and this Lake Superior College post for more details.