Through participation in the REACH Initiative, students see benefits in multiple areas:

  • Vastly improved soft skills such as time management, team work, professional communication, and a strong work ethic.
  • Skills training in specific job skills identified as necessary by our employers.
  • College credit through Minnesota State College Southeast for skills classes.
  • On-site business immersions with at least four local businesses.
  • Supervised work experience for school credit.
  • Connections to business people who are interested in supporting and mentoring students.
  • Decreased education costs after high school with credits earned at high school, connections to local companies who support continuing education, and a REACH Scholarship for education or retention bonuses at work.
  • Improved self-confidence and the leadership that comes from experiences outside of school.


  • A two-year program at local high schools for selected juniors and seniors. (They apply for the program in the spring of sophomore year, have personal interviews with employers and school staff, and are selected based on the results of their efforts.)
  • There are two pathways – Manufacturing & Building Trades, and Health & Human Services (HHS). Each pathway can take up to 30 students in both the junior and senior years.
  • Courses specific to the two paths of REACH have been developed in collaboration with Minnesota State College Southeast (MSCS), local schools, and business partners. Classes allow for dual high school/college credit (post-secondary credits will be articulated through MSCS; after students receive certifications there, credits earned can transfer to other MnSCU schools). All classes are designed to give students hands-on, real-life experiences.

There is NO COST to the student or family to be involved in the REACH program.

All immersions, internships, and work experience take place at local employers. For immersions, each student creates a list of desired career paths and immersions are assigned according to that list. For internships, students will interview with a variety of local businesses and, hopefully, be offered an internship or work experience directly through that business.

Please contact Christie Ransom at the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce