Nov. 14, 2013 – Letter to the editor: I wish to express my appreciation to the Grand Forks Herald for providing news coverage of the second annual Northern Valley Career Expo held at the Alerus Center on November 13. Congratulations and recognition to those who contributed to making this event a tremendous success. A few years ago, when a handful of us sat around a table and conceived the idea of exposing students to real-life vocational opportunities in this region, we could not have imagined such a resoundingly successful event.
Approximately 1,250 high school sophomores from 23 school districts across the region learned about workplace values and career opportunities available in the northern Red River Valley through break-out sessions and an exhibitor showcase. As I walked through the expo, the positive collaboration between public and private entities, business and education, K-12 and higher education, was unmistakable. The engagement and excitement of the students was clearly evident and refreshing to witness.
I would like to commend Keith Lund, Vice President of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation, for his outstanding work and dedication in collaborating with local entities to organize this event. The commitment of Mr. Lund and the Grand Forks Region EDC to connect students with local occupational demands is appreciated and applauded.
I also would like to thank Eric Ripley, Director of Career and Technical Education for Grand Forks Public Schools, for his tremendous efforts in exposing students to regional career opportunities.
My gratitude to East Grand Forks Public Schools, the East Grand Forks Economic Development and Housing Authority, Job Service of North Dakota (Grand Forks), the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Northland Community and Technical College (East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls), Northwest Private Industry Council (Crookston), The Chamber of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, University of North Dakota Conference Services, and Cariveau Workforce Services for their work in coordinating the expo.
Congratulations to everyone who participated and supported this incredibly successful event.
Dr. Larry P. Nybladh
Superintendent of Schools