MNVA Student

The call came on her 18th birthday. Marley Sherbon was hired as an operating engineer apprentice with construction giant Mortenson — she would have a chance to pursue her dream of becoming a crane operator.

“I was shocked to the point where I was in tears and my mom was in tears, because she was right next to me when I answered the call,” the recent Caledonia Area High School graduate said. Sherbon is just one of the success stories to come out of the Operating Engineers Pathway, a statewide career exploration program that’s free to public school students in grades nine through 12. Run by Minnesota Virtual Academy and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49, the Pathway gives students an up-close look at the field of heavy equipment operation and repair, while offering a chance to earn high school, college and apprenticeship credit simultaneously.

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