MN Biz Leaders Aid Young Job Hunters in Mock Interviews

More than 400 local business professionals are conducting mock interviews this week to assist local youth as they prepare for the summer job search.

Roughly 1,600 low-income young people who are preparing for summer employment are learning the ins and outs of landing a job-and their teachers include some of the top business leaders from the Twin Cities.

More than 400 local business professionals are gathering at the Minneapolis Convention Center this week to conduct mock interviews with the young interviewees. The business leaders taking part in the program include 78 volunteers from U.S. Bank, as well as employees from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Bremer Bank, Cargill, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, General Mills, HealthPartners, Medtronic, Piper Jaffray, the Pohlad Foundation, Thrivent Financial, Wells Fargo, and Xcel Energy. City, county, and state workers are also taking part in the program.

Richard Davis, president and CEO of U.S. Bank, and Todd Klingel, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, are among those conducting interviews.

The program began Monday and concludes Thursday evening. It is part of the City of Minneapolis' Step-Up program, which recruits, trains, and places low-income individuals between the ages of 14 and 21 in summer jobs. The program is conducted in partnership with AchieveMpls, a nonprofit organization that aims to connect Minneapolis' public schools with the broader community, including businesses, foundations, and government entities. Since its 2004 inception, the Step-Up program has assisted more than 14,000 young people in Minneapolis.

“Investing in Step-Up is an investment in our collective future,” Davis, who co-chairs the program along with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, said in a statement. “Step-Up is now a nationally recognized model for work force development and youth mentorship and has provided life-changing opportunities for thousands of young people. It also yields tremendous benefits for Twin Cities companies by building a talented future work force.”