The Center for Rural Policy and Development and Citizens League are excited to launch the third season of Interconnected: Rural-Urban Conversations.

Since 2020, Interconnected has been helping bridge the divide between urban and rural communities in Minnesota by discussing shared challenges and opportunities, and exploring how to design a future and systems that incorporate the unique needs of communities across the state.

We kicked off our new season on Wednesday, December 13, 2023 with The Journey to Meaningful Workforce Participation among Southwest Minnesota Graduates. Watch the entire discussion below.

As labor force demand increases, more attention is being given to our high school graduates – where are they going? What strategies and opportunities are needed to keep young people in rural communities? Learn from this insightful panel discussion exploring CRPD’s new report tracking the trends and career paths among high school graduates in Southwest Minnesota between 2008 and 2019.


  • Kelly Asche, Senior Researcher, Center for Rural Policy & Development
  • Nora Morris, Ed.D., SLEDS Director, MN Office of Higher Education
  • Eriann Faris, CTE Project Coordinator, LYFT Career Pathways
  • Carrie Bendix, Executive Director, Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council
  • Moderator: Kate Raddatz, Park Street PR