Republican Eagle

By Bianca Caputo

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar came to visit SCS Elevator Products in Red Wing on Jan. 5 to discuss the Red Wing Public Schools Flight Path Program.

The Flight Path program allows students to get real world experience with local employers matched to their career interests while receiving course credit before graduation.

Mick Wendland, the Flight Path Program Coordinator for Red Wing Public Schools, says that the program focuses on career readiness following graduation, preparing Red Wing students for their next steps into adulthood.

The goal is quickly transitioning students onto the right path, reducing the number of students who drop out of college and getting them graduated on time.

Approximately 42% of the Red Wing High School graduating class are participating in the Flight Path program, engaging with local businesses.

The program replicates real life experiences to help students build soft skills that could not be similarly replicated in the classroom, said Wendland.

The school makes an effort to give students valuable resume experience and help them determine which career paths are correct for them. These experiences span many career paths, from dentistry to factory labor depending on student interest.

Red Wing seniors Ridley Werla, Kya Bertram, Jack Lundgren, and Easton Kraabel were present to speak about their experiences within the program and their future plans.

Senator Klobuchar went around the table to ask about the students’ experiences, providing stories of her own throughout the conversation and engaging with administration at the table.

Sophia Rahn, a Red Wing alumni attending the University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire for marketing, was able to use her Flight Path experience in order to get an internship for this following summer. The experience was extremely beneficial for her resume, Rahn said.