Erik Simonson has been named Executive Director of Continuing Education and Customized Training at Lake Superior College. He started his new position today, April 1.
In his new role, Simonson will manage LSC’s Continuing Education and Customized Training department which provides timely and affordable workforce training for regional employers, ranging from mine safety to firefighting to leadership courses.
Lake Superior College partners with area nonprofits and local, regional and state agencies to provide training for underemployed, underserved and low-income individuals, helping them transition to better-paying, high-demand jobs.
LSC’s CECT Department also works closely with regional business and industry to monitor labor trends and workforce training needs, particularly in healthcare, aviation and manufacturing.
CECT is under LSC’s Institutional Advancement and External Relations division which also includes marketing and communications, government and community relations, the Lake Superior College Foundation, admissions and recruitment, and LSC Athletics.
“We are excited to welcome Erik back to the LSC campus community,” said LSC Vice President of Institutional Advancement and External Relations Daniel Fanning. “He clearly brings an impressive skillset and depth of knowledge, strong community and regional connections, and public service experience ranging from his legislative leadership to his years of service as a Duluth firefighter. He’s also already familiar with our campus and core values, through his service to our community as well as being a former instructor. All of this makes him an ideal fit for this position and we know he will serve LSC, as well as the greater community, very well in this role.”
Simonson attended Lake Superior College beginning in 1987, enrolled in general education courses and worked at LSC in the 1990s teaching in the Fire Tech program as well as in Industrial Safety for the Customized Training Department. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business from the College of St. Scholastica in May 2016.
“I’m very excited to join the team at Lake Superior College,” said Simonson. “Even during these challenging times with COVID-19, we see how our communities and regions come together and work towards a common goal. LSC has long been a strong partner in Duluth and the surrounding area, and I look forward to helping build on and expand those connections. The broader goal continues to be to serve the needs of students, business, industry and other local economic development initiatives as we work to construct a constantly evolving workforce.”
Simonson served as a firefighter for the City of Duluth for 27 years and retired as assistant fire chief. Most recently, he has served as Executive Director and CEO of the Lake Superior Zoo.
Simonson was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2012. He served two terms. He was then elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2016, where he is currently serving Senate District 7 (Duluth).