Regional Workforce Initiative Announces Priority Projects To Tackle The Region’s Employment Challenges

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The Regional Workforce Initiative, led by five FM organizations, provided a progress report to investors and stakeholders on Thursday, June 30 at the Courtyard by Marriott. Over the past year, more than 170 volunteers have been building on ideas set forth within the 100-page report.

The initiative addresses a growing workforce gap between available positions and qualified workers to enhance the region’s economic competitiveness.

Some of the goals announced during the presentation focused on consistent messaging and branding; a central clearing house to learn more about moving to Fargo Moorhead, finding employment and opportunities for things to do; removing barriers to home ownership and increasing available childcare.

Six-months of research, surveys, focus groups and in-person interviews by TIP Strategies, a consulting firm based in Austin, Texas, have culminated in the 100-page report that details the environment surrounding regional workforce and the challenges and opportunities we face recruiting, retaining and developing our workforce.

The Greater Fargo Moorhead region currently has roughly 6,700 job openings, and the 11-county labor shed has more than 11,000 job openings. Within the next five years, the region is projected to have more than 30,000 openings, and the labor shed is projected to have 55,000 openings. These jobs openings include both new jobs and replacement jobs which are open due to natural turnover in the workplace.

Employers across the region are already having difficulty securing the talent they need. Some of this difficulty is consistent with challenges employers across the US are facing – the discrepancy between the skills available workers have and the skills employers need, otherwise known as the skills gap.

In the Fargo Moorhead region the workforce challenges are further complicated by the low unemployment rate and the high labor force participation rate. There are not enough workers in the region to fill these job openings.

The report includes a four-point framework with priority projects to tackle the region’s employment challenges. The five-year strategic plan aims to address ways to cultivate and develop local talent, attract new talent to the region, build a strong path towards financial stability for those who need it and encourage innovation to maximize the region’s use of human capital.

  1. Cultivate: Strengthen the pipeline of local talent to support employers in the region.
    1. Community 101 for college students
    2. Tiny Pulse for Talent Insights
    3. Winter Festival to “Embrace the Cold”
  2. Attract: Enhance and coordinate efforts to bring new talent to the region
    1. Friends and Family Campaign
    2. Talent Recruitment Services
    3. Trailing Spouse Network
  3. Build: Develop a framework for financial self-sufficiency and upward mobility for workers in low-wage and basic-skill jobs
    1. Nonprofit collaborative
    2. Affordable Housing Advocacy
    3. Employer-led childcare
  4. Innovate: Encourage the development of innovative solutions to address the region’s workforce-related challenges
    1. Technology Hackathon
    2. Social innovation challenge

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Within the next three to five years, the five lead organizations will drive the implementation of the four strategies and evaluate progress strengthening our workforce system to continue to support business growth.

The Regional Workforce Partnership & Collaboration involves the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, the Chamber, the Fargo Moorhead Area Foundation, United Way of Cass-Clay and the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Many local companies have pledged their support as sponsors of the partnership and its efforts:

Sanford Health
Minnesota State University Moorhead
City of West Fargo
Meinecke-Johnson Company
Forum Communications Company
Border States Electric
Essentia Health
Eide Bailly
American Crystal Sugar
North Dakota State University
Industrial Builders, Inc.
Trail King Industries, Inc.
Moorhead Economic Development Authority
North Dakota State College of Science
O’Day Equipment, LLC
Dakota Medical Foundation

Regional Workforce Initiative Announces Priority Projects To Tackle The Region’s Employment Challenges

closer shot medium

The Regional Workforce Initiative, led by five FM organizations, provided a progress report to investors and stakeholders on Thursday, June 30 at the Courtyard by Marriott. Over the past year, more than 170 volunteers have been building on ideas set forth within the 100-page report.

The initiative addresses a growing workforce gap between available positions and qualified workers to enhance the region’s economic competitiveness.

Some of the goals announced during the presentation focused on consistent messaging and branding; a central clearing house to learn more about moving to Fargo Moorhead, finding employment and opportunities for things to do; removing barriers to home ownership and increasing available childcare.

Six-months of research, surveys, focus groups and in-person interviews by TIP Strategies, a consulting firm based in Austin, Texas, have culminated in the 100-page report that details the environment surrounding regional workforce and the challenges and opportunities we face recruiting, retaining and developing our workforce.

The Greater Fargo Moorhead region currently has roughly 6,700 job openings, and the 11-county labor shed has more than 11,000 job openings. Within the next five years, the region is projected to have more than 30,000 openings, and the labor shed is projected to have 55,000 openings. These jobs openings include both new jobs and replacement jobs which are open due to natural turnover in the workplace.

Employers across the region are already having difficulty securing the talent they need. Some of this difficulty is consistent with challenges employers across the US are facing – the discrepancy between the skills available workers have and the skills employers need, otherwise known as the skills gap.

In the Fargo Moorhead region the workforce challenges are further complicated by the low unemployment rate and the high labor force participation rate. There are not enough workers in the region to fill these job openings.

The report includes a four-point framework with priority projects to tackle the region’s employment challenges. The five-year strategic plan aims to address ways to cultivate and develop local talent, attract new talent to the region, build a strong path towards financial stability for those who need it and encourage innovation to maximize the region’s use of human capital.

  1. Cultivate: Strengthen the pipeline of local talent to support employers in the region.
    1. Community 101 for college students
    2. Tiny Pulse for Talent Insights
    3. Winter Festival to “Embrace the Cold”
  2. Attract: Enhance and coordinate efforts to bring new talent to the region
    1. Friends and Family Campaign
    2. Talent Recruitment Services
    3. Trailing Spouse Network
  3. Build: Develop a framework for financial self-sufficiency and upward mobility for workers in low-wage and basic-skill jobs
    1. Nonprofit collaborative
    2. Affordable Housing Advocacy
    3. Employer-led childcare
  4. Innovate: Encourage the development of innovative solutions to address the region’s workforce-related challenges
    1. Technology Hackathon
    2. Social innovation challenge

closer shot medium

Within the next three to five years, the five lead organizations will drive the implementation of the four strategies and evaluate progress strengthening our workforce system to continue to support business growth.

The Regional Workforce Partnership & Collaboration involves the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, the Chamber, the Fargo Moorhead Area Foundation, United Way of Cass-Clay and the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Many local companies have pledged their support as sponsors of the partnership and its efforts:

Sanford Health
Minnesota State University Moorhead
City of West Fargo
Meinecke-Johnson Company
Forum Communications Company
Border States Electric
Essentia Health
Eide Bailly
American Crystal Sugar
North Dakota State University
Industrial Builders, Inc.
Trail King Industries, Inc.
Moorhead Economic Development Authority
North Dakota State College of Science
O’Day Equipment, LLC
Dakota Medical Foundation

Inspiring Future Engineers: GFMEDC/NDSU Pilot Project Pairs K-12 Students With NDSU Engineering Students

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“We’re going to play a really fun game today.”

Mackayla Headlee, a senior in electrical engineering at NDSU has spent the last couple months with nine second graders at Ed Clapp Elementary in Fargo. Headlee works with the students on projects that help advance classroom lessons. Headlee is one of two NDSU students from the College of Engineering who spend 30 minutes twice a week with small groups of students. Headlee and her counterpart help students learn to apply their current math content to examples representing real life situations.

The students use a process Headlee calls think, pair and share. The second graders think about the problem, pair up with a partner to talk about solutions and then share with the group. The process helps them learn to work together and see different ways to solve a problem.

“These are the same problem solving skills I use in college,” said Headlee.

The pilot program was started in 2015-2016 thanks to a collaboration among the GFMEDC, NDSU and Fargo Public Schools. Two engineering students are spending ten weeks at Ed Clapp teaching a total of 20 students who range from level one to five in terms of math competency. The GFMEDC is providing the college students’ stipends.

Along with inspiring the students to learn different ways to tackle math concepts (and hopefully to love math), the program aims to create pathways to careers like engineering. The NDSU students act as role models, sharing their love of math with the kids and planting the seed in their minds that they too can pursue STEM fields. This program has the potential to reach more students getting them excited about learning math from role models who use it in their everyday lives

115medium“I loved math and a big reason was because I saw how math could be applied to the real world,” said Headlee. With her grandfather and father as engineering role models, engineering was a natural choice for her.

The two engineering students also spent time at Fargo North helping in a mechanical engineering class.

Inspiring Future Engineers: GFMEDC/NDSU Pilot Project Pairs K-12 Students With NDSU Engineering Students

115medium

“We’re going to play a really fun game today.”

Mackayla Headlee, a senior in electrical engineering at NDSU has spent the last couple months with nine second graders at Ed Clapp Elementary in Fargo. Headlee works with the students on projects that help advance classroom lessons. Headlee is one of two NDSU students from the College of Engineering who spend 30 minutes twice a week with small groups of students. Headlee and her counterpart help students learn to apply their current math content to examples representing real life situations.

The students use a process Headlee calls think, pair and share. The second graders think about the problem, pair up with a partner to talk about solutions and then share with the group. The process helps them learn to work together and see different ways to solve a problem.

“These are the same problem solving skills I use in college,” said Headlee.

The pilot program was started in 2015-2016 thanks to a collaboration among the GFMEDC, NDSU and Fargo Public Schools. Two engineering students are spending ten weeks at Ed Clapp teaching a total of 20 students who range from level one to five in terms of math competency. The GFMEDC is providing the college students’ stipends.

Along with inspiring the students to learn different ways to tackle math concepts (and hopefully to love math), the program aims to create pathways to careers like engineering. The NDSU students act as role models, sharing their love of math with the kids and planting the seed in their minds that they too can pursue STEM fields. This program has the potential to reach more students getting them excited about learning math from role models who use it in their everyday lives

115medium“I loved math and a big reason was because I saw how math could be applied to the real world,” said Headlee. With her grandfather and father as engineering role models, engineering was a natural choice for her.

The two engineering students also spent time at Fargo North helping in a mechanical engineering class.

FM Welcome Party – Grab Your Ticket And Join Us March 22

We’re throwing a party! So if you are new to the area (or kinda new), join us!

We want to be the first ones to welcome you to Fargo-Moorhead! We’re so glad you moved here.

It’s a night where you can meet new friends and see what makes Fargo-Moorhead a great place to live. Grab a drink, enjoy some great food, and ask other new residents (and locals) why they like living here or any other question or thing that is confusing you. For example, where is “the lake” everyone goes to in the summer? It’s all sponsored by us, the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation. Yep, we’re way more fun than we sound! Untitled-3-01


Moved here 6 days ago? Perfect! More like 6 years? We’d love to see you there!

Grab a ticket here:
Eventbrite - FM Welcome Party

March 22
6:00 – 8:30 pm at ecce art + yoga
216 Broadway N, Fargo ND

All are welcome (professionals, spouses, kids, students, new graduates)!

Know someone who just moved here? Share this event with them!
We’re making it a pretty big deal; heck, you’re worth it!

And join us pre-party for a walking tour of Downtown:

Eventbrite - FM Welcome Party | Walking tour

FM Welcome Party – Grab Your Ticket And Join Us March 22

We’re throwing a party! So if you are new to the area (or kinda new), join us!

We want to be the first ones to welcome you to Fargo-Moorhead! We’re so glad you moved here.

It’s a night where you can meet new friends and see what makes Fargo-Moorhead a great place to live. Grab a drink, enjoy some great food, and ask other new residents (and locals) why they like living here or any other question or thing that is confusing you. For example, where is “the lake” everyone goes to in the summer? It’s all sponsored by us, the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation. Yep, we’re way more fun than we sound! Untitled-3-01


Moved here 6 days ago? Perfect! More like 6 years? We’d love to see you there!

Grab a ticket here:

March 22
6:00 – 8:30 pm at ecce art + yoga
216 Broadway N, Fargo ND

All are welcome (professionals, spouses, kids, students, new graduates)!

Know someone who just moved here? Share this event with them!
We’re making it a pretty big deal; heck, you’re worth it!

And join us pre-party for a walking tour of Downtown:

Eventbrite - FM Welcome Party | Walking tour

Fargo Moorhead fans can share love of FM and earn prizes

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, folks who love Fargo Moorhead can share the good news of our community with

their social networks while earning awesome prizes just for clicking share!

The Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is excited to launch a new Smart Move Ambassador Program. Through the program, Fargo Moorhead fans can sign up to be an ambassador. Once a person signs up, they can link their account to the available social media platforms of their choice. Once a week, the EDC will send out content that each ambassador can share on their chosen social platforms. Each ambassador can earn points and win fun prizes.

The Ambassador program is in response to the great need to recruit more people to our metro community. The Fargo Moorhead region continues to experience a low unemployment rate and a large number of open jobs. When you factor in the misperceptions or lack of perception about the area, recruiting can be a challenge.

“That’s why the ambassador program is so important. The ambassador is a trusted source sending positive messages about Fargo Moorhead to their friends and family, said Lisa Gulland-Nelson, VP Marketing & PR, GFMEDC, “We’re hoping this program helps people become true ambassadors of the Fargo Moorhead region. We know people love living here, and we want to make it easy for them to spread the word about how great it is.”

Ambassadors earn points by adding social networks and sharing messages through the program. The EDC will give out big prizes like a staycation along with other small prizes like gift cards to favorite local coffee shops and other businesses.

The program is managed through an online system called Social Toaster. To sign up, go to www.smartmovefm.com/ambassador. The first 200 will receive an awesome t-shirt designed by a local artist.

Fargo Moorhead Fans Can Share Love Of FM And Earn Prizes

social toaster_twitter- FB copy 2

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, folks who love Fargo Moorhead can share the good news of our community with their social networks while earning awesome prizes just for clicking share!

The Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is excited to launch a new Smart Move Ambassador Program. Through the program, Fargo Moorhead fans can sign up to be an ambassador. Once a person signs up, they can link their account to the available social media platforms of their choice. Once a week, the EDC will send out content that each ambassador can share on their chosen social platforms. Each ambassador can earn points and win fun prizes.

The Ambassador program is in response to the great need to recruit more people to our metro community. The Fargo Moorhead region continues to experience a low unemployment rate and a large number of open jobs. When you factor in the misperceptions or lack of perception about the area, recruiting can be a challenge.

“That’s why the ambassador program is so important. The ambassador is a trusted source sending positive messages about Fargo Moorhead to their friends and family, said Lisa Gulland-Nelson, VP Marketing & PR, GFMEDC, “We’re hoping this program helps people become true ambassadors of the Fargo Moorhead region. We know people love living here, and we want to make it easy for them to spread the word about how great it is.”

Ambassadors earn points by adding social networks and sharing messages through the program. The EDC will give out big prizes like a staycation along with other small prizes like gift cards to favorite local coffee shops and other businesses.

The program is managed through an online system called Social Toaster. To sign up, go to www.smartmovefm.com/ambassador. The first 200 will receive an awesome t-shirt designed by a local artist.

Smart Move Summits

IT summit logo

Idea generation is great.
But if no action is taken, then it’s all just talk.
That’s why the Greater Fargo Moorhead EDC has organized a series of summits geared to create action items. Four annual Summits address IT, manufacturing, healthcare, and engineering.

Collaborating with industry professionals and education leaders we work to break down silos, build on successes and tackle challenges.

In every summit, round-table discussions occur giving people the chance to share their own perspectives, triumphs and challenges. Key takeaways are identified before anyone leaves. Those takeaways are turned over to newly formed committees.

By hosting these summits focusing on a variety of industries, we hope to continue fostering the innovation that comes out of collaborative conversations.


Check out some of the recent takeaways on Twitter with the hashtag #SmartMoveSummit

Smart Move Summits

IT summit logo

Idea generation is great.
But if no action is taken, then it’s all just talk.
That’s why the Greater Fargo Moorhead EDC has organized a series of summits geared to create action items. Four annual Summits address IT, manufacturing, healthcare, and engineering.

Collaborating with industry professionals and education leaders we work to break down silos, build on successes and tackle challenges.

In every summit, round-table discussions occur giving people the chance to share their own perspectives, triumphs and challenges. Key takeaways are identified before anyone leaves. Those takeaways are turned over to newly formed committees.

By hosting these summits focusing on a variety of industries, we hope to continue fostering the innovation that comes out of collaborative conversations.


Join the conversation on Twitter:


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