NORTHFORCE will coordinate a fourth year of its Twin Ports-based targeted mentorship program, Mentor Connection, and is now accepting applications for mentors and mentees. 
Students of all majors may apply, but they must indicate a desire to stay in the Northeastern Minnesota/Northwestern Wisconsin region upon graduation. Professionals in any field and of all experience levels may apply as mentors. Organizations are also encouraged to partner with the program to connect with the next generation’s skilled workforce.
Mentor Connection pairs area college students with local leaders in the Duluth-Superior region for seven months of one-on-one career guidance. Together, mentor-mentee pairs attend six scheduled events between October 2019 and April 2020. Each event focuses on a specific topic or skill related to professional development, such as personal branding or community involvement.
Students participating in Mentor Connection have the opportunity to:
  • Connect one-on-one with a professional in their field
  • Explore employment options in the region
  • Enhance their resume by showcasing their involvement in the community
Mentors participating in Mentor Connection have the opportunity to:
  • Connect with top students in their field
  • Elevate their leadership skills
  • Build their professional network in the region
Organizations that partner with Mentor Connection have the opportunity to:
  • Meet with engaged area students
  • Tap the next generation of skilled workforce in their industry
  • Help retain top talent in our community
Mentor Connection is designed to welcome students into our community, foster genuine connections, and retain talent locally. Although not required, job shadows, internship opportunities, and informational interviews are encouraged by the program, which has successfully graduated mentees directly into paid positions at local businesses. 
“Mentor Connection is dedicated to helping students who are North By Choice become immersed here, beyond their college campuses, so our region feels like home,” said Director of Mentor Connection Krissy Johnson. “With unemployment at a historic low, Mentor Connection is another effort made by NORTHFORCE to retain talent in the Northland.”
The Mentor Connection class of 2019 graduated 59 students, making for an average attendance of 120 combined mentors and mentees per event throughout the program year. Comparable numbers are expected for this year’s cohort.
Year four of Mentor Connection will kick off with the program’s first networking event on October 8, 2019. Graduation will take place on April 14, 2020. A limited number of spots are available for this year’s program. Students, professionals, and businesses can learn more and apply online at
Mentor Connection fosters talent retention by connecting college students with local leaders and organizations that are invested in the Twin Ports business community. The program is funded in part by the Community Opportunity Fund, the Living Legacy Fund, and the Young Leaders Fund of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation. Find more information on Mentor Connection by visiting the program website at
NORTHFORCE is a regional initiative aimed at connecting talent with opportunity up north. Overseen by The Northspan Group and exclusively posts jobs and internships from within Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. The site is designed for career-minded individuals who want to live and work in this region, and just need the right gig in order to stay here, relocate here, or come back home. It’s free to sign up, search jobs, and post jobs.
For more information please contact: NORTHFORCE’s Twin Ports Strategy and Development Consultant Krissy Johnson by email at