Rural MN CEP Career Force’s CLIMB Program: Transforming Dislocated Workers into Entrepreneurs

28 Jun 2023


As a participant of Rural MN CEP Career Force’s Converting Layoffs into MN Businesses (CLIMB) Program, Kimberly Gillette was able to transform a career crisis into the creation of her dreams. Designed to assist aspiring entrepreneurs in the state-funded Dislocated Worker (DW) program, the CLIMB Program supports business launches or growth. More specifically, through the use of the DW Program’s funding, the program provides small business consulting and training to interested program participants.

According to Gillette, she discovered the CLIMB Program at a pivotal time. “The pandemic, fiscal repercussions on higher education, and other world events have taken their toll on the educational landscape in the U.S. I was the benefactor of this trifecta. For the first time of my life and after a 25 plus year career in international education, I was let go. Prior to that point, I was certain I was going to work at a university in the field of international education until I retired.” However, through the CLIMB Program, she was able to shape her career to be more authentically aligned with her own personal values and ambitions. 

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