June 18, 2015

Regional Workforce Study Results Announced-United Way to Take Action to Address Workforce Challenges

United Way collaborates with Regional Workforce Partnership to lead efforts to tackle workforce challenges

A study commissioned by five local agencies and 16 community partners lays out four areas of action that could help ease the workforce shortage in our community. The results were released this morning and the Executive Summary is available here. 

Six-months of research, surveys, focus groups and in-person interviews by TIP Strategies, a consulting firm based in Austin, Texas, have culminated in a 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 more than 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 mismatch between the skills that available workers have and the skills employers need. This is 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 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.

The Greater Fargo-Moorhead region is an economically diverse employment center with a strong pipeline of talent to support current and future employers.

To strengthen the regional workforce system to support regional employers and to address the gap between available positions and qualified workers.

Regional Workfroce Development Strategy and Framework for Action: 

1. Cultivate: Strengthen the pipeline of local talent to support employers in the region.

2. Attract: Enhance and coordinate efforts to bring new talent to the region

3. Build: Develop a framework for financial self-sufficiency and upward mobility for workers in low-wage and basic-skill jobs

4. Innovate:
Encourage the development of innovative solutions to address the region’s workforce-related challenges

The five lead organizations, including United Way of Cass-Clay, 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 including: 

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

If you or a representative from your organization is interested in serving in a leadership role to implement these strategies,
please contact Missy Froeber at the Greater FM Economic Development Corporation at mfroeber@fmedc.com

PowerPoint Presentation from Regional Workforce Study Event on 6/18/15

Regional Workforce Development Collaboration Summary 

Greater Fargo-Moorhead Regional Workforce Study EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (PDF)

Greater Fargo-Moorhead Regional Workforce Study FULL REPORT (PDF) (104 pages) 

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