Pathways Career Training & Development

Empowering Futures

Pathways Initiatives by People Incorporated

People Incorporated is addressing the critical shortage of diverse future mental health professionals by offering training and paid field experience to recent high school and post-secondary graduates and current students in behavioral science-related fields. Collaboration with the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee provides guidance and input for each of the Pathways initiatives.

Each cohort of 5-6 trainees receives 6 weeks of training and program shadowing, followed by up to 8 months of paid field experience working in People Incorporated’s programs. Members receive training and practical experience in medical administration, mental health diagnosis and symptoms principles, cultural competencies, implicit bias, and more.
  • Create low-barrier access points for aspiring mental health professionals from under-represented cultures
  • Help those who may not be able to pursue a traditional degree program gain training, skills, and paid work experience
  • Create recruitment connections with diverse agencies that are working with underrepresented students
  • Pathways trainees complete up to 1,800 hours each per year of classroom learning as well as on-the-job experience
  • Since its inception, Pathways has graduated 58 trainees in total
  • 35% of trainee graduates are current People Incorporated employees
To support our Pathway’s development programs, trainees will have access to a full-time Pathways Community Liaison who will develop community alliances and assist in recruiting, mentoring, and understanding the cultural needs of trainees.

For further information, please email pathways@peopleincorporated.org.


Paid Field Experience

Pathways Practitioner

Recent bachelor’s level graduates can participate as Practitioner Trainees in a Paid Field Experience, which is a nine-month program that includes:

  • 6 weeks of intensive training and program shadowing
  • 6-7 months of employment as a float practitioner assigned to cover a varying range of shifts

The program begins with six weeks of training and shadowing that serves as an orientation to the programs and introduces skills they will use while working in our float pool – a group of mental health employees that fill staffing gaps that may occur across the agency due to time off, illness, or staff transitions.

Practitioner Trainees will begin working in a wide variety of People Incorporated programming – including:

  • Community Residential Services
  • Children’s Day Treatment
  • Crisis Residential Services
  • Customized Living
  • Intensive Residential Treatment Services (IRTS)
  • Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorder Services (MI/SUD)

Pathways Mental Health Support Specialist (MHSS) Trainee

Anyone who is 18 years of age or older with a high school diploma/GED can participate as a Mental Health Support Specialist (MHSS) in a Paid Field Experience, which is a three-month program that includes:

  • 3 months of on-the-job experience working in Adult Foster Care
  • 6 weeks of training: including First Aid, CPR, and medication administration
  • Overview of mental health diagnosis and symptoms
  • Motivational interviewing, de-escalation skills, and person-centered care
  • Introduction to boundaries, ethics, risk in work relationships, and trauma
  • Cultural competencies and implicit bias


White-McGhee-Sims and Ron & Nancy Reed Scholarship

The White-McGhee-Sims & Ron and Nancy Reed Scholarships provide opportunities for students of color to complete their education, increasing the number of qualified professionals trained to serve families. In existence since 1978, this program is named for William O. White (1935-1985), Frederick L. McGhee (1861-1912), and John Sims (1926-2019). In the spirit of their lives and accomplishments, the White-McGhee-Sims Scholarship exemplifies dignity and perseverance in achieving one’s goals.

In 2003, Ron Reed and his wife Nancy established an endowment fund to honor their commitment to St. Paul, family values, and a lifetime of service to communities of color. Ron specifically chose to dedicate the purpose of his fund to bolster the scholarship program for master’s level internships for people of color already established by the White-McGhee-Sims Scholarship Fund, thus strengthening this endowment.

The new name for the fund became the White-McGhee-Sims-Ron, and Nancy Reed Scholarship, held by the Saint Paul Foundation, and has been managed by People Incorporated since 2012 and, since then, has helped twelve students of color reach their professional development goals.