July 31 2018

Thanks to Graco Inc. for major Career Readiness Initiative grant

Graco Logo
Graco employees with Minneapolis STEP-UP interns

Our tremendous thanks to Minneapolis-based manufacturer Graco Inc. for their gift of $100,000 in support of our Career Readiness Initiative (CRI). Graco’s generous leadership-level support will allow us to expand and deepen our targeted career advising, personalized resources and industry connections with Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) students, and help them access a wider range of meaningful, high-wage careers and postsecondary training opportunities.

"I feel optimistic about the future when I hear from students who have discovered a career path they're truly excited about — and the Career Readiness Initiative gives them the opportunity to explore those paths," says David Ahlers, Graco's Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Corporate Communications. "This program is developing the next generation of ambitious young employees in Minneapolis who are ready to bring a fresh perspective to our workplaces. Now more than ever with the workforce shortages we’re facing, this program is a win-win for employers and the community."

Graco is an exceptionally strong partner in our career and college readiness work. The company recently partnered with our CRI team to host a Manufacturing Day worksite tour, which brought 150 Minneapolis students to see their facilities and production first-hand, learn about career and training opportunities and network with team members. Graco is also a dedicated employer and funder for our STEP-UP youth employment program, hiring interns for two years in a row and providing a generous grant. They are passionate about connecting students with career opportunities that don’t require a four-year college degree.

“We are truly appreciative of Graco’s multi-faceted partnership in our work with Minneapolis students,” says Danielle Grant, our President and CEO. “Graco’s investment will have a lifelong impact on hundreds of students by providing exposure to meaningful career opportunities that help them make the best plan for their futures. With Graco’s support we can truly elevate all career paths and help students work toward careers that they’re excited about and invested in, and that provide family-sustaining wages.”

Thank you, Graco, for demonstrating your strong commitment to our community and investing in our young people — the talent that will power our city into the future!