Mike Christenson, Head of Community Planning and Economic Development for the City of Minneapolis, Joins Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Christenson to lead Career & Technical Education/Workforce Development
Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) announces the appointment of Mike Christenson as Associate Vice President of Workforce Development. Christenson has led economic development initiatives for the City of Minneapolis since 2003.
In his new role at MCTC, Christenson will oversee the College’s entire portfolio of career and technical programs, a comprehensive continuing education and customized training program and will lead a team of faculty, staff and academic deans at one of the State’s largest urban two-year colleges. Christenson will report to the College president and will be charged with providing strategic vision and leadership for the College’s programs and cultivating relationships with employers, industry groups and students to meet the region’s workforce needs. He begins his duties March 20, 2012.
Christenson currently serves as Executive Director of the City’s Community Planning and Economic Development Department, a position he has held since 2007. He previously was the City’s Director of Economic Policy and Development. He also serves as a member of the MCTC Foundation Board of Directors.
“Mike has been a partner with MCTC in many of our key initiatives over the last decade, including the health careers partnership and Power of YOU,” said MCTC President Phil Davis. “Mike’s vision, relationships with business and community leaders and proven track record are exactly what we need as we strengthen our capacity to meet the workforce needs of the community.”
“I’m thrilled to join the MCTC team,” said Christenson. “MCTC is an admired leader in Minneapolis, and this is a uniquely public-spirited campus. As the son and spouse of educators, it will be an honor to support faculty and staff as they nurture the workforce of the future.”
Christenson is well-regarded by public and private sector leaders and colleagues. “Mike Christenson is solid gold,” said Charlie Weaver, executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership. “He gets stuff done. He has a reputation for being ethical, tenacious, smart and goal-oriented. I’m excited that he will continue working on the Minneapolis Promise initiative, which includes MCTC’s Power of You Program.”
During his tenure at the City of Minneapolis, Christenson worked with the Mayor and City Council to close the City’s unemployment gap. He also led economic development efforts in North Minneapolis, and negotiated development agreements at Global Market, Children’s Hospitals, Coloplast, Riverside Plaza and Cowles Center. He has worked closely with Mayor R.T. Rybak in growing the Minneapolis Promise.
About Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC)
MCTC is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. MCTC offers students more than 130 liberal arts, career and technical education academic programs and a comprehensive array of non-credit programs to prepare students for good jobs in high-demand professions, career advancement, or transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, MCTC enrolls more than 14,000 students annually and is an active partner in initiatives designed to strengthen the social, economic and cultural vitality of the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
For five generations, South St. Paul Steel Supply Company has been providing steel, aluminum and galvanized products to local and national customers. For almost as long, they’ve been helping out local colleges with products, recycling and expertise.
David Berg, the company’s president, remembers dropping metal product donations to local colleges as early as the ’60s, when he was just a teenager. This past spring, MCTC joined that group of colleges through a new partnership.
South St. Paul Steel Supply provides a range of services to the College including free, custom-built containers that academic departments and maintenance staff can use to recycle metal products. Under the enthusiastic direction of MCTC Welding and Metal Fabrication instructor Todd Bridigum, students get hands-on learning about hot topics in the industry, including finding more environmentally friendly ways to work and more Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) certification programs. In addition, Berg’s company contributes steel products to statewide welding competitions in which MCTC students participate.
But Berg is quick to point out that his role goes beyond just handing out supplies. “We don’t just write a check or simply provide materials,” he says. “If we’re invited—to the skills competition for welding students, for example—we come and help support activities. We offer as much education to instructors as they’re comfortable taking.”
In addition, Berg sits on the school’s Welding Advisory Committee—one of several advisory committees in which he participates. “It helps us provide, from a private-sector viewpoint, what the industry is looking for from students taking [welding] courses,” he says. “We can help implement different kinds of ideas and procedures.” He’ll even give pointers on the interviewing process for students who are looking for jobs in the field. In turn, Berg knows that he’ll likely have a ready supply of top-tier talent available as his company grows and hires more employees.
Berg suspects he might be the only metal supplier in the state who can bandy about educational jargon like “full-year equivalent” (FYE) or chat with the chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU). But for him, providing assistance in all the ways he can is part of his larger role as being a positive part of the community. “Anybody can come in and pick up [a college’s] scrap or provide steel product for classroom instruction,” he says. “But for us, being a bigger part of that process, and giving back to the community, is what it’s all about.”
When: Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Where: MCTC Cafeteria and community organizations
Parking: Free parking in the MCTC parking ramp
Register now for the 4th annual MLK Day of Service. This event includes an inspirational breakfast with keynote speaker Dr. Verna Price and a day of service in the community. Faculty, staff, students and community members are welcomed to join us on this day to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and his dream for equality.
In the spirit of Dr. King's dream, the theme for this year's MLK Day of Service is "finding unity in the community." What does community mean to you? The Day of Service always focuses on bringing together members of the community to help others through service projects at community organizations. This year, we are exploring what it means to find unity as a group working toward a similar goal.
More information and registration: http://www.minneapolis.edu/MLK2012
“Since 2006 when the “Power of YOU” program started over 2,000 students have benefitted from it. Of them, over 1,300 were MCTC students. The program is open to students of all races. Students who participate in this program have a 67% higher graduation rate than students who do not. The overall graduation rate has jumped by over 30% over the life of this program. The vast majority of the students surveyed reported that they hoped to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher.”
Rahel Haile, a TRiO Starting Point student, received the TRiO Leadership Award at the MAEOPP Adult Student Leadership Conference on Oct. 29.
She was recognized for her exemplary leadership in academics, school and the community. Haile has been a Starting Point peer mentor for three years and has provided many new students and nursing students wonderful, calming advice and plenty of encouragement. She has helped to develop and improve our mentoring program to help mentors connect with students in more ways. Ms. Haile will graduate this fall from MCTC with an Associate in Science degree in nursing.
The fall 2011 edition of The Groove is out! Check out the latest issue of the newsletter for MCTC’s alumni and friends. In this issue you’ll find stories about our faculty, alumni, programs and what’s been happening on campus. Featuring:
Alumni Hall of Fame 2011
Boston Scientific supports Jump Start
St. Paul Steel Company connects students with industry
In Loving Memory of Maxine Nathanson
Download the PDF…
MCTC’s student newspaper City College News took third place in the Associate Collegiate Press Best of Show for two-year, 4-16 page publications at the National College Media Convention Oct. 26-30 in Orlando, FL.
“The networking and knowledge gained from this convention was priceless,” said Editor in Chief Aaron DuBois.
Congratulations to all of the staff and reporters at City College News!
The National College Media Convention is the largest gathering of college journalists and advisers in the world. Associated Collegiate Press and College Media Advisers partner to prepare nearly 400 practical and professional learning sessions, from high-profile keynotes to specific, problem-solving breakouts, hands-on workshops and discussion groups. College Broadcasters, Inc., arranges a slate of broadcast-oriented speakers. Other convention activities include an exhibit hall with vendors who sell to student media, ACP’s Best of Show contest, receptions, awards convocations, critiques and a newspaper job fair.
With typical attendance of more than 2,300 delegates, the annual fall gathering has become the place to seek solutions to the most challenging publishing and broadcasting problems, share success stories, see what’s new in the media marketplace, discover trends and network with students and advisers from the United States, Canada and often other countries.
While seven percent of Minnesotans are out of work, many Minnesota businesses are having a hard time finding qualified workers. On Tuesday, Oct. 25, Gov. Mark Dayton convened a day-long jobs summit to discuss this employment gap.
The Star Tribune covered the event in a front-page feature, “Closing skill gap key to solving job crisis.” Todd Mills, a machine tool technology student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, is shown adjusting the settings of a metal lathe in the article. (Todd is featured again in “Advanced manufacturing: Help Wanted.”)
In a related opinion piece, “Got the people, but not the skills,” Cecil Porter, another machine tool technology student, is shown using a vertical mill machine to make a dovetail cut out of a piece of steel.
MCTC’s career and technical programs, including Machine Tool Technology and others, are helping to bridge the gap in the workforce by training future workers for jobs in manufacturing and construction.
Faculty in our HVAC, Welding and Metal Fabrication, Machine Tool Technology and Construction Electricity programs are providing technical knowledge and hands-on skills to students — critical for gaining employment with many companies, including manufacturers and production facilities throughout Minnesota. Kim Munson, MCTC’s machine tool technology instructor, boasts a 100% job placement rate of his students.
Find out more about our manufacturing and construction programs:
Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011, 4:30–6 p.m.
K Building, Room K.3360
Student African American Brotherhood/Brother2Brother (SAAB/B2B) present "Black Men in America: A Real Conversation.”
This panel discussion will feature:
E.G. Bailey, Liberian-born actor, spoken word artist, filmmaker, playwright and producer
Lennie Chism, entrepreneurial activist and creator of the Black Pages
Brandon Royce-Diop, a student in the Masters of Education and Teaching Licensure Program at the University of St. Thomas and policy fellow and the 2011 Advocacy Fellow with Minnesota Minority Education Partnership bringing critical support to the African American Males in Education Advisory
This event is open to everyone. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-659-6000 ext. 4287
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 5-8 p.m.
Free parking in the MCTC parking ramp.
Come to a new kind of open house at MCTC!
High school students and parents
Hear about PSEO and spring course options and meet advisors.
Learn about short-term certificates and going back to college.
Fill out the registration form to attend!
Invite your friends on Facebook!