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FARIBAULT, Minn. (1/25/24) – The Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism
proudly announces its recent grant approval in collaboration with the Minnesota
Chamber Foundation and Greater Twin Cities United Way. This dynamic partnership is
set to empower youth across Minnesota by enhancing career pathways through the
United Way’s Future Ready Workforce Fund.

The Business Education Network partners (BEN), a collective led by the Minnesota
Chamber Foundation and involving local chambers such as Faribault, stand as key
players in steering local initiatives. Serving as intermediaries between local employers
and students, these BEN partners extend their reach statewide, fostering collaboration
between the Minnesota Chamber Foundation, Greater Twin Cities United Way, and local
chambers of commerce. Together, they strive to narrow the gap between public
education and employment systems, ensuring that Minnesota students gain access to
fulfilling and purpose-driven careers.

Nort Johnson, President/CEO of the Faribault Chamber commented “This grant really
supports what we’ve been working on and will expand the capacity to improve
outcomes for our students and businesses.”

Jennifer Byers, Executive Director of the Minnesota Chamber Foundation, highlighted
the pivotal role of local chambers in connecting students with employers. She remarked,
“The Minnesota Chamber Foundation, through our local chamber of commerce partners,
is exceptionally positioned to link students with local employers. By leveraging the
expertise and resources of Greater Twin Cities United Way, we aim to elevate ongoing
efforts in local communities and provide students with opportunities to explore high demand careers.”

Liz Williams, Senior Program Officer for Career Academies at Greater Twin Cities United
Way, expressed enthusiasm about expanding into Greater Minnesota through innovative
partnerships. She stated, “This partnership with the Minnesota Chamber Foundation,
focusing on equity, represents the future of education. It offers tangible solutions to
strengthen our workforce.”

Grant recipients include the following local chambers of commerce:
• Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce
• Burnsville Chamber of Commerce
• Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism
• Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce
• Greater Mankato Growth
• Lakeville Chamber of Commerce
• MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce
• Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism
• Redwood Area Chamber and Tourism
• Shakopee Chamber of Commerce
• Winona Area Chamber of Commerce

This impactful program is slated to run through 2024. For more information about the
program or interview requests, please contact Peter Ingraham at

The Minnesota Chamber Foundation, dedicated to understanding and advancing Minnesota’s
economy since 1983, continues its commitment to the state’s economic future through thorough
research, workforce development, and leadership programs. It remains the sole statewide, private sector foundation focused on the state’s economic future across all industry sectors and geographic

Greater Twin Cities United Way unites changemakers, advocates for social good, and develops
solutions to address challenges, fostering a community where all people thrive. For additional
information, visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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