The current change in our market and our culture has had a permanent impact on retail and on the customers' experience. Both sides of the retail exchange, for the business and the customer, are shifting from the in-person shopping experience of the past to virtual shopping experiences. The future of retail will utilize coders, UX designers and UX researchers, Augmented Reality development teams and beyond - and to accomplish all this, they will need armies of tech trades workers.
The traditional route for education involves a long schooling process with an abundance of time and money being spent on general education courses, but the tech world is a different animal. In recent years, the tech education industry began rolling out privately owned coding "boot camps," cutting the education time from years down to just several weeks. These are high-paying trade jobs that anyone can acquire in weeks!
This is only the beginning and the game will be changing fast; I predict the future of tech education will come at no cost to the student. Private industry is seeing the benefit of launching their own tech boot camps - they can onboard a person into training and convert them from student to employee in roughly 18 weeks! The person goes from wanting a new career to educated and gainfully employed with no new debts! Symbiotic relationships are great, aren't they? Every retailer needs an online presence and the giants (Target Corp, Best Buy, Amazon, etc...) need a team full of educated employees to stay ahead.
The old model - I pay for my own education, you give me an internship spot where I work for free in exchange for experience - will probably be seen as absurd, as it should be. The new model will look much more like a military contract. We hire you, we educate you, we employ you. The worker gets an education and work experience, and a good paying job. The employer gains an staff member that is educated to their standards and in their preferred style, and they now have an employee that is contracted to a term of service at an agreed-upon rate. A high school graduate could go from graduation to making $20/hr or more in several weeks!
What does this have to do with Burnsville? Wait...is this going to be about the mall again? Yup, sorry to keep hammering on this subject, but here we go...
A conversion of the mall to an education center would open space for ISD 191 and 196 to have post secondary classrooms that are focused on multimedia and tech trades. The students would be able to network with the private sector, the ones who have set up their boot camps and continuing education centers in what was once the old mall. Plus, they will better understand how to find an education and what employment would best suit them.
Naturally, an area populated by young, well-employed people brings consumerism and the free market will meet those consumers' demands. Night life, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, gyms, affordable housing, etc... will organically find their way into what was once the Burnsville center area and the tax payers of Burnsville will not have to pay for it. We won’t need to create a TiF district to see growth and development in our awesome city!