A colleague and partner of mine, Chet Bodin, on the Greater Minnesota Rising project posted this informative post on The Center for Small Town's blog called Workforce Development: Engaging Tomorrow's Leaders in the Challenges of Today. Below is a brief excerpt:
"That’s one of the questions being asked by Greater Minnesota Rising (GMR), a research project funded by The Initiative Foundations in Little Falls and West Central: to seek out why people move here, why they don’t, and what strategies might facilitate migration as the state and nation faces its most challenging labor shortage since World War II. An initiative of Minnesota Rising, a network of emerging leaders across the state focused on the future of Minnesota, Greater Minnesota Rising was developed on the heels of Ben Winchester’s landmark “Brain Gain” migration research. His findings showed most of rural Minnesota actually experienced an influx of people and talent ages 30-49 from 1990-2000 and 2000-2010. Winchester goes on to exclaim 'Imagine if we actually helped people move here!'
Northwest Minnesota may be the state’s best kept secret, but the times they are a changin’. The 26 county region will need to fill almost 60,000 replacement openings by 2022 to maintain its current workforce, without which local industry will struggle to produce as much and compete on the world stage. Greater Minnesota Rising is on a mission to figure out how professional networks and emerging leaders in the northwest can be activated in response to the challenge. In April, our research capacity was increased significantly with the support of the Mary Page Community-University Partnership Fund, a fundraising effort to memorialize Mary Page, a trailblazing leader for RSDP and Greater Minnesota. With their support, GMR was able to hire Brooke McManigal, a CURA student researcher, via the Community Assistantship Program. Brooke will join Minnesota Rising volunteers and GMR Research Lead David Milavetz from Raising The Bar LLC on the project."
Over the next week we will be hosting focus group discussions in four different cities: Alexandria, Little Falls, Brainerd, and Moorhead. I am looking forward to collaborating with some incredibly exciting leaders and sharing our results!