In a partnership with Central Lakes College, 27 Brainerd High School students recently toured the North Memorial Air Care heliport at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport. They are students in a healthcare professionals class taught by Jean Mershon of Central Lakes College in partnership with Essentia Health System. Offered for the fifth year, the course is part of the Bridges Career Academies that focus on career pathways and a rigorous, real-world curriculum. Work-based learning and the need to meet regional workforce needs drive the initiative. “One course objective is to encourage high school juniors and seniors to consider coming back to central Minnesota once they have completed their professional career studies,” said Jean. Students have visited several departments at St. Joseph’s Medical Center, talked to many professionals with various roles in medical service. They have shadowed the professionals to get a feel for those roles. North Memorial Air Care provides flight transportation service and critical care flight nurses and paramedics to respond directly to the scene of an emergency.