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Every Hand Joined: The Power of Collective Impact

Red Wing businesses, nonprofits, city and county government, schools, foundations, and parents gathered in 2012 to address an alarming trend in our community: Our young people are increasingly unprepared for the 21st century economy that is demanding more from them.

What we have discovered is a wake-up call for Red Wing: About 40 students don’t graduate from our high schools, which has a huge impact on their lives. For instance, they won’t be able to apply for the 70% of Minnesota jobs that will require a post-secondary degree by 2018; they each will miss out on earnings potential of $2,182,000 over their lifetimes. We also learned that local businesses are looking outside of Red Wing for employees who have a higher level of education and skills, and they will increasingly do so.

So how do our young people get the support they need on a path to a meaningful career?

It starts with kindergarten readiness, and then with success in third grade reading, and then understanding eighth grade algebra, and earning good high school grades so they can get into college or technical training programs. This path also requires healthy families, after-school programs, extracurricular activities, and positive role models and overall, a community that sees and catches them when they falter.

For a bright future for our kids and Red Wing, we must support our kids and teens from cradle to career with academic, social and emotional support.

The Partner Table


We pledged to combine our talent and know-how so our young people can succeed in this 21st century economy.