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Youth/Young Adult Services

Photo of 4 young people


Youth and young adult programs can help you plan your journey from school to what comes next. Let our partnerships with schools, post-secondary education, employers and CareerForce Centers help you make a successful transition into employment and a career.


YouthBuild offers hands-on, no cost construction training while earning a GED or diploma. Students earn money while accomplishing goals and learn critical job skills to build a bright future.​​​​​​ There are more than 225 YouthBuild programs in the U.S. that have participated in building 17,000 units of affordable housing. This program is funded by the Department of Labor.

During COVID-19, YouthBuild is still enrolling students. Call or text 612-424-1050.


  • Ages 16–24
  • Not currently enrolled in school and interested in working towards your GED or diploma
  • Participate in job training
  • Interactive online training with an instructor, career navigator and peers; additional hands-on shop training in our training facility
  • Classes are Monday–Friday, hours vary

Call or text 612-424-1050 or complete the YouthBuild interest form.



Retail Skills Training

Retail Skills Training is an eight-week course designed to provide job skills for the retail industry. Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota provides individuals with an average of 10 hours of paid training per week. This is a referral based program only and not open to the general public.

What to expect

  • 160-hour course
  • Hands-on work experience at local retail businesses
  • Instructions in retail terminology, customer service, safety, cashiering, stocking, time management, communication skills, problem-solving and conflict resolution
  • Guest speakers from within the retail industry
  • Financial literacy training
  • Employment readiness training - resume development, application preparation, interview skills, job search and retention skills training
  • Assistance with job placement and follow-up services for graduates
  • Support to achieve long-term career goals

Due to COVID-19, most classes have moved to an online format.

For information, contact:

St. Cloud - Julie Danda 320-654-9527 Ext. 108

Twin Cities -  Andrea West 651-379-5634

Student Career Services

The transition from youth to adulthood is critical for every young person and extra support is available for students with disabilities. GESMN helps students ages 14-21 with disabilities gain experience to inform career decisions.

Workplace Readiness Training: Prepare for careers, build common employment skills and positive work habits and understand the impact of work on public benefits.

  • Benefits information services
  • Independent living services or soft skills training
  • Job-seeking skills training
  • Public transportation training

Job Exploration Transition Counseling: Explore industries and individual jobs to make informed career decisions.

Postsecondary Educational Counseling: Get help making the next steps to college.

    Photo of youth speaking with an adult at a table with a laptop open

    Introduction to Self-advocacy: Understand and confidently communicate strengths, needs and interests.

    Work-based Learning: Receive hands on-the-job support and coaching while gaining experience and skills.

    Introductory Work Activities: Use real work examples to share knowledge and skills that help students connect academic learning to real-life work activities. Support includes: career mentoring, informational interviews, job shadowing, workplace tours and field trips.


    For information, contact:

    Elk River, Monticello & St. Cloud: Julie Danda 320-654-9527 ext 108

    Hutchinson, Mankato & Willmar: Shelly Bormann 320-214-9238

    Twin Cities -  Andrea West 651-379-5634

    Photo of a young woman with a backpack in a doorway.

    Youth Heading Home

    Employment services are provided at the Youth Opportunity Center which offers multiple on site services for youth experiencing homelessness. Individualized employment services, work experience, and training are offered with the goal of achieving housing stability.

    Core Services

    • Placement/retention/advancement
    • Individualized case management
    • Community resources