Right Track Plus

In 2021, Ramsey County launched a workforce development program, Right Track Plus, which helped prepare COVID-impacted young adults, ages 18-24, for new careers.
Right Track Plus provided paid part-time internships, mentorship, career counseling and professional development opportunities to unemployed and underemployed young adults. 
Participants gained entry-level skills and access to professional networks in six targeted industries: Public Pathways, Construction/Green Energy, Urban Agriculture, Creative Arts, Technology and Healthcare.
Racially and ethnically diverse young people have been disproportionally impacted by the economic impacts of COVID-19, including job loss, reduction of hours, deferring school and reduced wages. Due to the need to earn incomes to support themselves and their families, many young people have been pushed out of career tracks and into low-wage jobs in sectors that have limited availability for growth and opportunity.
Right Track Plus helped young adults make connections and develop skills to get jobs after their internships.

Some Right Track Plus participants chose to pursue educational opportunities (including college) after their internships. Re-enrolling in or continuing their schooling allows young people to build on the knowledge they gained from their experiences in Right Track Plus.
Ramsey County partnered with the city of Saint Paul and community-based organizations to ensure participant success and continuous one-on-one support.
This support included:
  • 1:1 employment case management and wrap-around services.
  • A new passport career exploration program for participants to attend a variety of industry-driven events.
  • A community mentor for each participant.
  • Specialized personal and/or professional development for the young adult participants.

Meaningful Experiences

Right Track Plus participants completed a survey after their internships that asked about their experiences. Most young adults said that they gained important benefits from the program.

When asked to share a personal highlight or story for how Right Track Plus impacted their lives, several young adults* shared the following comments:
When it comes down to it I’m not a really big fan of change but having my Right Track Plus internship really helped me develop a schedule with my life.
Right Track Plus has helped me gain financial stability. Because of COVID, it’s been really hard for me to find a reliable job and make income. I’ve been able to buy materials for school and pay bills because of Right Track.
Right Track Plus definitely influenced my sense of self and my confidence. Getting support, feeling comfortable asking questions, and having opportunities to improve myself helped me get over the feeling of imposter syndrome.
Right track impacted me because I was stuck in a bottomless pit. Then when I found out about the internships, it gave me hope and a purpose in life I can attain.
Before right track I had trouble figuring out how to accomplish my goals. Now I have a path to where I wanna be.
Right Track Plus offered an opportunity for young adults to grow their networks, improve their skills and find a path forward during a critical time in their lives.
*Comments edited for clarity and brevity.
For more information on Investment and Support activities visit ramseycounty.us.