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Business Education Network

Business education network Minnesota Chamber foundation

Employer-fueled solutions to Minnesota’s workforce shortage

Business Education Network is a private-sector solution to employers’ urgent need to find skilled, qualified and ready workers for jobs available in communities across our state. For the last five years, the Business Education Network (BEN) has worked with local chambers to customize workforce needs for specific regions. Grassroots private sector efforts are met with the successful collaboration of K-12, higher education and community leaders to build sustainable, nimble pathways to local careers or higher education opportunities. Click below to read the full BEN five-year report. 

Worker shortage 300,000+

111,000 unemployed 

worker shortage

BEN connects employers with middle, high school and college students to make them aware of and prepare them for career opportunities in their communities. Local communities in partnership with local chambers of commerce develop their own programs to respond to local needs. Examples of BEN programs include:

Business education network Teacher in the Workplace
Teacher in the Workplace
High school teachers experience immersion training and exposure to certain industries by working at those industries for four weeks during summer. The experience helps inform their curriculum and classroom training in key subjects.
Business education network career expos
Career Expos
Local employers host high school students in a “trade show” environment that lets them explore jobs and careers that are available where they live.
Business education network career academies
Career Academies
Cohorts of high school juniors are provided mentoring, specialized dual-credit coursework for college, communications and “soft skills” preparation and development.
Business Education Network CEO in the Classroom
CEO in the Classroom
A middle-school focused program where employers talk with kids about what jobs look like and the classes students should take to be ready for certain jobs.

Business Education Network Partners

Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce
Burnsville Chamber of Commerce 
Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce
Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce
Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce
Greater Mankato Growth
Lakeville Area Chamber of Commerce 
Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce
MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce
Minneapolis Regional Chamber
New Ulm Chamber of Commerce
Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce
Princeton Chamber of Commerce
Redwood Area Chamber of Commerce
River Heights Chamber of Commerce
Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce
Shakopee Area Chamber of Commerce
St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce
Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce
Waconia Chamber of Commerce
White Bear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce
Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce
Winona Chamber of Commerce 

Want more information?

For more information or to start a Business Education Network in your community, contact Jennifer Byers at 651.292.4673 or