MANKATO, MINN

The workforce is always changing.

New jobs get created, old ones are no longer needed and technology changes the way we work, or who works, every single day.

Wednesday, local business leaders, community leaders and lawmakers met with Devinder Malhodra, Chancellor of the Minnesota State Universities System, to better understand and enhance their partnerships to create a better workforce.

"If you look at most of the high demand jobs today, they didn't exist 20 years ago," explained Malhodra.  "So similarly, we have to prepare our students not lonely where the shortages exist today in the job market, but we have to prepare our students for the jobs that haven't yet been invented."

By enhancing partnerships within communities, the University can build stronger, more necessary programs within their college system.

For example, in 2010, the MSU aviation program, like many others across the country, was about to be dropped due to funding.

Not wanting to see that happen, alumni, various individuals, local businesses and the City of Mankato really stepped up to help fund the program... a program that is now a shining star for Minnesota State University.

"Now, eight years later, it's just booming," explained Fred Lutz of the Mankato Airport Commission.  "There are 300 students.  Both Delta and Sun Country come here and try to recruit students right away and it's one of the ten schools in the whole country that Delta wants to work with."

The program now has agreements with seven different airlines for them to come in and recruit students to come work for them.

In fact, the program hosts an orientation every year for different airlines to come out and check out the program.  Up until about three years ago, no one would ever come.

"This year there were ten airlines there," said Lutz.  "In fact, Delta flew a jet up here that the kids could get inside and look.  These were just freshman!  Couple hundred freshman that hadn't even started flying yet.  Now with the partnership they are willing to offer some scholarships, help them with their training and their flight time."

MSU's program is gaining a lot of traction now because they are the only local school you can get an Aviation Degree from.

--KEYC News 12